Plume Motor Spirit Sign – Adelaide

This Plume Motor Spirit sign has (re)appeared in Pirie Street, Adelaide in February 2018.

Sadly, the adjacent Mobiloil sign is already damaged by construction.

Greg Coote

Plume Motor Spirit Sign

Vacuum Oil

Mobil's predecessor company, Vacuum Oil, first opened its Melbourne branch in February 1895.

In March 1904, Vacuum Oil was officially incorporated under Victorian Law as a proprietary company. In 1906 the company issued Australia's first ever chart of "Recommendations to Motorists" covering about 200 makes of car and highlighting the increasing range of lubricating products Vacuum Oil had available. By 1908, Vacuum was growing rapidly and merged with the Colonial Oil Co, a company marketing kerosene and motor spirit, adding to Vacuum's specialty lubricant products. In 1916, Vacuum introduced its popular "Plume" (petrol) and "Laurel" (kerosene) brands to the Australian market which would develop the operations significantly. A year later, Vacuum brought its first 100 gallon, horse drawn tank wagon into service.

As motor vehicles became more popular in Australia, Vacuum expanded its operations. In 1924 Vacuum opened its first bulk petroleum products terminal at Pulpit Point in Sydney and took delivery of its first imported bulk oil products cargo, a 1.5 million gallon shipment carried from the United States by the tanker "HT Harper".