History of Esso in the UK.
Esso began life as the Anglo American Oil Company in 1888. It was the first foreign affiliate of John D Rockefeller's US company the Standard Oil Trust. It had a head office at Bishopsgate, London and a depot at Purfleet in Essex. The depot stored paraffin being shipped from New York for use in lamps throughout England.
In 1911, the US Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of the Standard Oil Trust, resulting in the spin-off of 33 companies, one of which - Standard Oil (New Jersey) - acquired Anglo-American.
The British affiliate remained with the New Jersey company and, in 1934, took a phonetic version of the initials of Standard Oil (SO = Esso) for some of its brand names.
In 1951, Esso was adopted as the company name.
Because use of the Esso trademark in the US was restricted, Standard Oil (New Jersey) chose Exxon as its name in 1972.
Exxon Mobil Corporation was created following the merger of Exxon (Esso's parent company) and Mobil. However, the idea of Exxon and Mobil working together is nothing new.
The corporate entities that would one day become Exxon and Mobil share a common ancestry - the Standard Oil Trust formed by John D Rockefeller in 1882. Under this umbrella, two organisations were formed - the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey and the Standard Oil Company of New York. Jersey Standard and Socony, as they were commonly known, were the predecessors of Exxon and Mobil.
In 1911 the US Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of the Standard Oil Trust - Jersey Standard and Socony were two of the 33 companies that went their separate ways.
In the ensuing years the two companies followed similar paths, expanding around the world and into every segment of the oil business, including petrochemicals, as they met the world's energy needs.
Ultimately, Exxon and Mobil realised that they could operate more effectively and more competitively as one organisation. The merger was completed on November 30, 1999.