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Oil for the Lamps of China


Back in the days of John D. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil trust, the cutting edge of trade with China was petroleum products.  Stanvac –the precursor of Mobil - was producing oil and refining products in Java and Sumatra, the heart of what is now Indonesia. Since most Chinese couldn’t read, the famous “Flying Red Horse” (Pegasus) image was affixed to both the lamps and Stanvac products so they could be easily identified as belonging together. In a brilliant marketing move, millions of kerosene lamps were given away free in the hinterlands of China and East Asia and John D made his money made selling the fuel.  Pegasus still flies today for ExxonMobil, forever proving the marketing power of an easily recognizable symbol.  

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