Nicely engraved antique stock certificate from the Union Oil Company of California dating back to the 1930's. This document, which is signed by the company Secretary and contains the printed signature of the company President, was printed by the Security Bank Note Company and measures approximately 11 1/2" (w) by 6" (h).
The Union Oil Company of California was founded on October 17, 1890, in Santa Paula, California, by Lyman Stewart, Thomas Bard, and Wallace Hardison. It was a merger of three Southern Californian oil companies: the Sespe Oil Company and the Torrey Canyon Oil Company (both owned by Bard) and the Hardison and Stewart Oil Company. All three were notable as being completely unaffiliated with Standard Oil. Union Oil moved its headquarters to Los Angeles, in 1901. The original headquarters in Santa Paula is a California Historical Landmark.
About 1910, Union Oil made a strategic alliance with the Independent Producers Agency, a group of small oil producers, to build pipelines from the Kern County oil fields to Union Oil facilities on the Pacific coast. This gave the independent producers an alternative to what they perceived as the low prices paid by Standard Oil and the high freight rates charged by the railroads to move crude oil. It gave Union access to a large volume of crude oil. The situation was later fictionalized in the 2007 film There Will Be Blood.
In 1919, the Union Oil Company of Delaware was incorporated as a holding company for the Union Oil Company of California. In 1920, Union Oil purchased the Central Petroleum Company from the Texas Company. In 1922, the Union Oil Associates, Inc. was incorporated in California as a holding company to prevent control of the Union Oil Company of California passing to foreign interests after the merger of the Union Oil Company of Delaware with Royal Dutch Company.
The company was reorganized in 1983, and Union Oil Company of California became an operating subsidiary of a new Delaware-based holding company, Unocal Corporation.