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Brenntag, Frisia, Stinnes Fanal

Brief History

Hugo Stinnes AG was a long established fuels wholesaler based in Lübeck, which at its peak in 1967 had 825 outlets. In 1965 it was bought by the utility company VEBA (now part of E.ON) and in 1973 doubled its size by buying the US oil major Gulf's petrol chain in Germany. A new logo was introduced, dropping the Stinnes name, but VEBA sold the 1,000 Fanal outlets to BP in June 1978, probably at the request of the Cartel Office owing to VEBA gaining a majority stake in Aral, the market leader. Under BP's ownership the chain was steadily reduced in numbers, until the last stations switched brand during 1991. Ironically, in the less strict competition environment on the 2000s, BP was able to buy Aral from E.ON, and so switch some ex-Fanal stations to the Aral name. The Stinnes name survived under E.ON's ownership as a logistics firm until 2003 (when sold to DB Schenker) and was also used by a DIY building products chain using a logo similar to that on the 1983 map until sold to Rewe.

Road maps

It is not clear when Hugo Stinnes first started supplying petrol, nor is it certain what brand was used. However these maps strongly suggest that before the War Stinnes were distributing BV-Aral fuels. The Hugo Stinnes - Stettin roundel is pasted onto the front cover of sectional BV-Aral maps. Both sections cover the area round Stinnes' Stettin base: no. 2 (from a series of 8 maps) is the first edition, dating from around 1932, and no. 3 (from a 13 map series) is thought to date from 1938. It is not known if the entire set of BV maps was treated this way, or just the single section surrounding Stinnes' East Prussian base. It is possible that Stinnes continued to distribute BV-Aral until the mid 1950s when they may have purchased the Fanal company, prior to adopting the combined Stinnes Fanal identity.
Enlarge cover of earlier map.         Image courtesy of Wilhelm Feuer

c1932 BV-Hugo Stinnes sectional map 2

1938 BV-Hugo Stinnes sectional map of Germany

1955 Fanal map of Northern Germany

These two Fanal maps, from 1955 (left - Northern Germany) and 1956 (right - Southern Germany) were both specially printed for Fanal by Falk maps at a scale of 1:650,000. The key difference is in the logo which was simplified between the two years, with the earlier version using a black shadow to the lettering. The rear covers list three corporate entities: Hugo Stinnes and Ruhröl, both of Mulheim, and Midgard of Oldenburg i. O.
Images courtesy of Alexander Drews

1956 Fanal map of Southern Germany
1960/1 Stinnes Fanal map of NW Germany

This Stinnes Fanal map of NW Germany dates from 1960 or 1961. Although the laminated card cover is not very interesting, inside it contains an unusual arrangement for a German map. A Falk plan of the region, at 1:250,000 has been dissected into 5 strips each joined to the next in the middle, with the ends folded back concertina-fashion. Falk described this as being "Patengefaltete" and it is almost certainly unique to them, although similar in concept to the Foldex system used on Shell maps. Falk called the resultant map "From Flensburg to Hannover" rather than the Stinnes Fanal regional name. Few of these maps survive; they tore quite easily and were sold by Stinnes Fanal for DM 4,95, compared to under DM 1- for the equivalent Aral, Shell or Esso titles.

By 1963, Stinnes Fanal had abandoned Falk-plan and their unusual folding system. They had instead switched to a conventional JRO-map pasted into custom covers which states the year on the cover. The section shown here is for Southern Germany at a scale of 1:750,000.

After Fanal acquired Gulf, it introduced a new logo, reminiscent of the Gulf disc, shown on the two maps below.

1963 and 1981 map images courtesy William Phillips

1963 Stinnes Fanal map of South Germany
1978 Fanal map of Germany section 3 1981 Fanal map of Germany section 4

These two maps are a 1978 Ravenstein production, which covered West Germany in four sections at 1:400,000, and a 1981 RV map, which increased the series to five well detailed sections at a scale of 1:300,000. The latter series consisted of a stock map inside a heavy card cover.

Chart of Fanal station numbers
Under BP's ownership, the Fanal brand was phased out over more than 10 years: Fanal had 1001 outlets in 1977 but only 19 by the start of 1991.

Top of PageMaps: Brenntag

Philipp Mühsam started business as an egg wholesaler in 1874, but had moved into motor fuels before 1910. As a Jew, he chose to sell his business in the 1930s to the Stinnes family, and in 1938 it was re-named Brennstoff-, Chemikalien- und Transport A.G, abbreviated to Brenntag the following year. This is thought to have no connection with the Leipzig firm of Brennstoff Handels-Gesellschaft Böhme & Riemann, which used the Brennag brand (with no "t"). Based in Berlin, Brenntag lost much of its retail petrol business in East Germany after the War, and became part of the Otto Stinnes group in 1952. This collapsed in 1963, and although Brenntag was briefly rescued by the Hugo Stinnes group, they sold its 120 service stations on to Total in 1964, although stayed active in heating fuels for a further 20 years. Brenntag continues to operate as a world-wide specialist chemicals distribution company to this day.

c1964 Brenntag map

The cover of this map states (loosely translated) "At all Hugo Stinnes stations, Brenntag fuels and lubricants prove the value of modern production techniques". I have not examined this map, which would appear to date from 1964, based on the above history. However it may be that Hugo Stinnes stations sold Brenntag fuels prior to the takeover. I suspect that this is the rear cover of the map concerned, as it appears to lack any detail of exactly which part(s) of Germany are covered, but has space for a rubber stamp from the service station. Note how the flag is similar to that on the pre-war Hugo Stinnes/BV map.

Image courtesy of Wilhelm Feuer

Maps: Frisia

Frisia map of Southern Germany

Frisia was the brand name used on petrol in West Germany and Luxembourg by Saarbergwerke, a company owned 74% by the German federal and 26% by the Saarland state governments. The slogan used under the flag on the map was "Das große Markenbenzin zum fairen Preis" - the largest petrol brand at a fair price. In 1970 it sold its 650 service stations to Gulf which, as noted above, sold out to Fanal just three years later.
H König prepared this undated map of Southern Germany at the scale of 1:1,000,000.

Image courtesy of Jon Roma

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Text and layout © Ian Byrne, 2001-14

All original copyrights in logos and map extracts and images are acknowledged and images are included on this site for identification purposes only.