Rare Gilmore Oil Company Map Drawn by Gerald Eddy
Interesting pair of Pre-World War II automobile route maps, published by Gilmore Oil.
The graphics promote the Lion Head, Gilmore's signature petroleum product.
This is an interesting early appearance of Gerald Eddy's work. Better known for his pictorial maps, Eddy first started drawing maps just before 1920.
Gilmore Oil Company
The Gilmore Oil Company was one of Southern California's most celebrated oil companies, which includes a legacy of gas stations, the LA Farmer's Market, the Hollywood Stars and The Railton Red Lion, which set a land speed record of almost 370 miles per hour.
Arthur Fremont Gilmore moved to California in the 1870s and, with another farmer Julius Carter, established a dairy farm in Compton. In 1880, they acquired a 256-acre tract from James Thompson, who had gone bankrupt, and established another dairy farm. In 1890, Gilmore's partnership with Carter was dissolved and Gilmore got the property. He lived with his family in the adobe farmhouse there and, around 1903, drilled for water so that he could expand their dairy herd. Instead of water, he struck oil. This find was part of the substantial Salt Lake Oil Field. The A. F. Gilmore Oil Co. initially sold the petroleum and tar for lubrication and paving, but Gilmore saw the potential of the automobile and started refining the crude oil into gasoline.
Arthur Gilmore died in 1918 and his son, Earl Bell Gilmore, took charge. He had initially sold gasoline from a horse-drawn tanker at the corner of La Brea Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard and this became the site of the first Gilmore gasoline station. E. B. Gilmore expanded the business, establishing over three thousand more gas stations on the west coast. His methods included energetic advertising and promotion. He created the branding for Red Lion gasoline with the slogan "Roar with Gilmore" and sponsored daredevils like Roscoe Turner, who flew with Gilmore, the flying lion, and John Cobb who drove the Railton Red Lion to set a land speed record of 369.7 miles per hour.
The Gilmore property was named Gilmore Island and a variety of other businesses were established there. A farmers' market was established in 1934 and this still exists today as a major attraction at "3rd and Fairfax". The Gilmore Stadium was established at the same time. This initially hosted midget car racing and then added boxing matches and the Los Angeles Bulldogs football team. Gilmore Field was opened as the home of the baseball team, the Hollywood Stars. Other attractions on Gilmore Island included specialty shops at The Dell, a drive-in theater and the Pan-Pacific Auditorium.
In the 1940s, 75% of the shares in the oil company were acquired by the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company and it was then merged into that group which became Mobil.
The map is rare on the market. This is the first example we have offered for sale.
Gerald Allen Eddy moved from Michigan to Southern California in 1902.
From the 1920s, he worked in the Los Angeles area as an artist and commercial cartographer.
Eddy produced a number of pictorial and other maps of the western part of the United States. His earliest work was "Pushing Hun out of Franc eand Belgium" (1918). He produced several other war related maps during WWII, but is best known for his tourist and pictorial maps of California, Nevada and Arizona, including his "The Heart of Arizona" in 1926 and Boulder Dam map of 1931 and his iconic series of maps of Lake Tahoe.