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Mobil Gas Pegasus

Mobil Gas PegasusIn Greek mythology, the Pegasus was an immortal creature. As the story goes, the Pegasus sprung from Medusa’s neck when the Greek hero, Perseus, cut off her head. The flying horse was tamed and given his name by Athena, the goddess of wisdom.

Athena presented Pegasus to the Muses, where he was placed at the service of the poets. Legend has it that the Pegasus struck the ground on Mount Helicon with his hoof, and a spring sprouted from that location, giving inspiration to those who drank its waters.

In the earliest days of oil refineries and filling stations, the Pegasus symbol was used by the Standard Oil Company of New York. The logo first appeared in 1911 on their gas pumps and petroleum products. When the Standard Oil Trust was broken up by the Supreme Court (1911), two of its divisions – the Standard Oil Company of New York and the Vacuum Oil Company – merged. The former brought with it the Pegasus logo, the latter brought the Mobilgas name.

Reproduction Mobiloil Can

The Pegasus was also used on Mobiloil and Mobil Tires.

The Pegasus appeared on Mobilgas products during 1911, but it was in 1931, with the forming of Socony-Vacuum, that it was officially adopted as a trademark. The flying horse was first colored red by an artist at the Mobil Sekiyu division in Japan. A major makeover was done in the 1930s by the commercial illustrator Robert “Rex” Elmer. Not only was it given a cleaner and more graphic appearance, but the horse now flew from left to right, as opposed to from right to left.

Through the years there have been gradual changes to the rendering of the red horse, but the symbol itself has stood strong. The Pegasus symbol is still used today by ExxonMobil, symbolizing imagination, power and speed.

The bulk of vintage collectibles adorned by the Mobilgas Pegasus are gas station signs and oil cans, but many take-home items were produced, including ashtrays, license plate toppers and coffee mugs. Those wanting to decorate with vintage-style signs and decor also opt for more affordable reproductions.

Do you own any original items from the Mobilgas era? Chime in and share your collection.

 

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Last updated: September 17, 2013
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About Ann

Ann is a web assistant and project manager with Retro Planet. After prior stints in the advertising and publishing worlds, she has found her place with the company. She is a serious anglophile and history buff, with a passion for anything from the past, especially retro inspired decor.

  • Claudia

    I have a Mobil Station Pegasus, about 8 feet across, 3 pieces bolt together. I got him about 36 years ago when the local station changed decor to the modern backlit disk.

    How much do you think she’s worth to a collector?

    Thanks so much,
    Claudia

  • Keith

    I purchased one for $2,500.00 a few years back but you might want to keep an eye on ebay to see what they are currently bringing. One will show up eventually. It is a great sign, good luck with it.

  • Carole Nelson

    Claudia,
    What ever happened to your Mobil pegasus sign?
    Carole

  • James C

    A rare 15 foot sign was recently stolen from my area. If you see it turn up for sale please alert the authorities at the phone number listed in this article about it. http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20091205/NEWS01/912050312/1002/Thieves-pilfer-famed-Shelby-Pegasus-sign

  • Diana

    As a child I remember this logo with much affection. I used to think that the tail looked like a hand shake being extended. Did anyone else ever get that impression or is it just me?

  • mark

    Nope, it is not just you. As a child it took the form of a dog I wanted, esp. golden retriever. I have had the Mobile Pegasus decaled on the back window of every street rod I have built since 1972 (eleven in all) and I have worn the logo t-shirt under sport coats and vests. It arouses the interest of a diverse cross section of society:)

  • mark

    Sincerely sorry for your loss. Have you had any leads?

  • Corvo1

    Anyone ever see the classic v shaped tall footed beeer glass with the Mobil Pegasus logo on the side?    Don’t think they are all that old but can’t find anything about them.

    Dan 

  • Don

    Does anyone know the paint code for the Mobil Pegasus horse?

  • Carriedoconnell

    Did you ever get a comment back on how much your pegasus is worth?  I have one too and I was wondering.  Thanks!

  • Steffie

    I have a perfert throw  rug with the Pegasus on it, that my mother-in law gave me many years ago. She told me that the Mobil Gas Station use to give them out when you filled up with so much gas. Dont know who much it’s worth. Steffie

  • marian

    I have 6 pins with the pegasus logo given to employess for years of service5, yr. 10 yr and so on.  Any collectors out there?

  • http://www.retroplanet.com/ Retro Planet

     Hi, Marian. People do read these posts quite often. You might want to post a picture.

  • David

    would be very interested in the pins     thank you,David

  • Burnermaster

    I have a Mobil bottle of radiator flush, glass with half the contents still inside..not sure of date, pegasus flies right to left, has painted label and says Socony-Vacuum Oil Company on the back. Is this collectible?

  • Mothercarol

    I have a set of six tumblers. They are ten oz. glasses. Each glass has nine small Pagasus’ evenly spaced. All are like new condition. I have no clue as to value as I can,t find any like them.

  • Eflores

    Looking for the Mobile Gas Station diamond kite with the red pegasus on it. Mom got me one for free from a near by station and I have found memories of flying it with her. Has anybody seen any of these?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ahmedsaid7 Ahmed Said

    I have a Pegasus coffee cup?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ganjahgal Rosena Goldman

    I have a Mobile Gas, pegasus coin operated ride. Supposedly there were on 5 made. I am selling it and trying to find its value. Any ideas?

  • http://www.retroplanet.com/ Retro Planet

    Hi, Rosena.

    Thanks for sharing. I wouldn’t even know where to start with the value. This is likely one of those items that is worth “what someone is willing to pay”. I’m assuming yours is the one amidst the other items? The clean one has been posted in another blog post on this site, so it’s an archive photo. I would suggest that you spend some time cleaning yours up and readying it for “presentation”. That can go a long way in obtaining a better price. You might want to inquire on Collector’s Weekly as to any assumed value.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jdantonsmith John Smith

    This came off station 1960. any idea what it’s worth? It’s about four feet toe to wing tip; ceramic, I believe Any idea what it might be worth. I tried to post photo but it didn’t appear. I have a left-flying 3d Pegasus that came off Key Korner Mobil Station in Montlciar NJ

  • http://www.retroplanet.com/ Retro Planet

    Hi, John:

    We aren’t appraisers, but we do try to find info. Sorry you couldn’t post the photo – we do have an upload page you can use and I can then post it here for you.

    http://www.retroplanet.com/blog/share-retro-memories/

  • Trey

    Do you still have, does it work?

  • Trey

    Do you still have the Pegasus? I collect old signs

  • Trey

    Do you still have your sign? I collect them

  • Trey

    Hey I am a collector of mobil oil do you still have it

  • dean@sunbeltfabrics.com

    What year was the first cookie cutter Pegasus made? Also I was told that the right facing cookie cutter is 1965 on and the left is pre 1965?

  • whotookmahpie

    are pegasus real?

  • whotookmahpie

    i think i should change my user

  • whotookmahpie

    and btw does anyone have a plush pegasus

  • Jim Rushing

    Where can I find a picture of the Mobilgas gas staion collectable made by claytown?

  • Ben Seymour

    Hi Ann~
    I’ve come into a Mobilgas shield sign that seems to be stainless steel–silver throughout– with the borders of the shield, the pegasus and the Mobilgas name all done as an outline. I can’t find any examples of this and am starting to think it may be of a more recent manufacture. Mostly, I’d just like to know what I have. Thanks

  • hot rod 31

    I have a socony vacum porceline gas sign. Its 47×47 inches in decent shape there are some chips (medium -small) on both sides one is better than the other its not been restored it has the pegasus on the top of the sign. Its late 20s-30 era. Its been hanging on the wall behind our bar for 12-13 years and Id now like to sell it if your interested make an offer

  • Trey

    Yes send me some pics please

  • hot rod 31

    I will take some and send soon.

  • hot rod 31

    Here are two shots, side 1 and side 2. ALAN MITCHELL 315-457-5789

  • mykeyre@aol.com

    The original Mobil Pegasus was created by an artist named Grover Martin. My parents had an antique mall in California in the early 70′s. They rented a both to Grover Martin’s son, Paul .He sold many originals of s father’s, who was also a prolific magazine illustrator. As a teen, I saw several original mobil Pegasus drawings. Kind of interesting!

  • http://www.retroplanet.com/ Retro Planet

    Thanks for this info!

  • Shirley wilson

    MarkFrankeberger (artist) worked in Kansas City area after WW1. It is here say in the family that he won a contest regarding the Red Horse. Any published information on this mentioning his name as an employee?

  • dspez

    do you still have this? whaere do you live I am very interested–thanks dominick 516-225-1026

  • LANA

    has any one ever seen an aluminum mobil gas pegasus head, its just the head, I think its aluminum it is silver in color, very heave, an is about 2 feet tall . I will try to send a pic. I have looked for another one like it for about 5 years with no luck .

  • Larry

    I have a Mobil Pegasus 9″ candle that was given to attendees at an event in NY before Mobil headquarters was moved to VA. Any ideas as to its value, collectable interest?

  • dspez

    call me 516-225-1026 or text to same number I would love to have this ride thanks -Dominick