New pages

New and improved pages on the
European Petrol Road Map Web Site: 2005

This page shows the updates that were made to the PetrolMaps website during 2005. With time, some of the links may no longer work, although most of the content of this website is permanent and will still be available at a slightly different location.

Link to most recent updates

The Eastern European theme continues with the long-promised upgrade to the Benzina page, which now shows all the Benzina maps known to me on a single page, including three examples previously not shown at all. (Updated 26 December 2005)

Statoil in Poland
After its liberalisation in early 1990s, there were many new entrants into the Polish retail petrol market. Many of the new foreign arrivals have since withdrawn or sold their outlets, but four remain significant players: BP, Shell, Jet and Statoil. Of these four, only Statoil had - until now - not published its own road map or atlas of Poland. (Updated 24 December 2005)

A 2005 atlas from Orlen
The largest Polish petrol company, Orlen, has occasionally issued maps and atlases in recent years, and a 2005 example is now shown. (Updated 24 December 2005)

Why are so many maps from Denmark at the scale of 1:505,000?
I used to be puzzled by this question, but a correspondent (Paul A. Nelson) has explained that it was to avoid a topographic tax known at the Kort Stempel. I have explained this in more detail and added an image of the tax stamp from a 1969 Esso map. (Updated 18 December 2005)

Rollsynol (Ernst Hürlimann)
An undated map has been found from Rollsynol, the former lubricant brand of the Swiss firm Ernst Hürlimann, which is now a leading member of the AVIA petrol distributors' co-op. (Updated 17 December 2005)

Anton Willer
Not all companies known to have issued maps are shown on this site; one of the missing names is Anton Willer, which is known to have issued a Uniti-group map of Germany in plain grey covers in the late 1930s. Willer started out selling Boie but appeared to switch to its own name just before the war; later it distributed DEA/Texaco for many years before briefly introducing the Dexx name. Currently it supplies more than 20 stations under Tamoil's HEM brand. (Updated 2 December 2005)

Shell's Rome Olympics Map
At least four companies are known to have produced special maps of Rome for the 1960 Olympic Games, and Shell's has now been added to the site. (Updated 19 November 2005)

Shell's Winter Olympics Map
Two companies - Shell and Esso - are now known to have issued special Innsbruck maps for the 1964 Winter Olympics held in that city. (Updated 18 November 2005)

1939-54 maps from Aral
The first Aral page mainly shows regular sectional issues, but previously has a gap between the mid 1930s and late 1950s. This has now been corrected by adding examples from 1939, 1951 and ca1954. To help keep this page to an acceptable size, the images from Derop maps have been moved to a new page. (Updated 17 November 2005)

Shell Straßen und Reisen atlases
Shell has issued A4 format softback atlases of Germany (with the Alpine countries at a smaller scale) for over 20 years, using the name Straßen und Reisen. Two examples have been added to the site, from 1985 and 2002. (Updated 15 November 2005)

Shell's latest Danish map
Shell's latest Danish map was issued as recently as May this year and has repackaged the Folia cartography used, for example, on its 2000 map using the QuickMap system. (Updated 15 November 2005)

OXY group maps
Occidental Petroleum was an American oil company that discovered oil in Libya in the 1960s, and decided to build up European retail networks to provide assured outlets. It acquired Signal Oil & Gas's VIP operations in Britain and Belgium, as well as the long established Kraftstoff (Varol) operation in Germany, and a number of smaller concerns. This new page shows an OXY map that has recently been discovered, as well as a map from Varol for the first time, as well as bringing together existing images from RBP (the Belgian precursor of VIP) and Kraftstoff. (Updated 6 November 2005)

More maps from Hydro, HydroTexaco and Uno-X
Norsk Hydro is Norway's second largest oil company, and it sells petrol and the Hydro brand in Sweden and, through a joint venture, as HydroTexaco in Norway and Denmark. In all three countries, it also supplies unmanned automat sites using the Uno-X brand. Nine new images have been added in a major update to the site, ranging from a 1988 Danish Hydro map of Germany, to the latest 2005 Hydro and Uno-X maps of Sweden as well as additional HydroTexaco map booklets. (Updated 1 November 2005)

Schwaben-Garage has existed for 85 years and is now the largest Ford distributor in Germany. However just 10 years after it was established it sold a colourful road map showing tours from its home city of Stuttgart which inter alia reveals that it sold 3,697,921 litres of fuel from its petrol pumps in 1929. (Updated 16 October 2005)

Aral Regional maps
Aral appears to have replaced its 28 Freizeitkarten with a series of 11 Regional maps, using the same cartography, but covering Germany with fewer sheets by omitting tourist information on the reverse. This concludes the updates to the BP-Aral pages on the site. (Updated 15 October 2005)

Aral atlases
Although a number of Aral atlases from Germany have been shown on this website, they were a little dispersed. Most have now been brought together onto a single page dedicated to Aral atlases, which includes four examples not shown before. The latest (2006 edition) is also shown on the page of 2006 maps. (Updated 15 October 2005)

BP Autoführer
As a late addition to the BP German page, an Autoführer has been added from 1953 that combines tourist itineraries with town plans and descriptions. (Updated 10 October 2005)

BP in Germany
Until now, this website has tended to overlook German BP maps, on the grounds that their covers are graphically less interesting than most. As BP was a major issuer of maps in Germany from the 1930s until the 1980s, this has now been rectified and no fewer than 13 new images from BP maps of the country have been added. (Updated 9 October 2005)

BP Touring Kits
The second new page for BP looks at the contents of a typical BP Touring Kit, sold to a customer in Kent, England in 1959. As well as a map of Europe, it included a guide to most European countries, a 12 language phrase book, a metric converter and vouchers to exchange for maps and free gifts in various countries where BP operated Touring Stations. The page also describes an Irish BP Touring Kit that contained only local materials. (Updated 9 October 2005)

Improved Navigation for BP pages
Finally, a new entry page has been added providing quick links to all the BP and subsidiary company pages. This brings BP into line with Shell and Esso, as BP has the third largest number of maps of European countries. (Updated 9 October 2005)

Top of Page2006 Road Maps from Petrol and Oil Companies
Although relatively few maps and atlases are still being sold by petrol and oil companies, there have already been some printed with a 2006 date, and this page will attempt to pull together examples from some of the main markets as they are discovered. (Created 2 October 2005)

A mid-1930s atlas from Brennstoff AG has been shown on this site for some years, but a newly found sheet map shows that by 1938 it was using a diverse range of brand names including Brennag (illustrated by a zapfstelle pump), Heros and Redalin. (Updated 30 September 2005)

Aral's Die Grüne Küstenstraße
In 1963, Aral - the large German petrol company - gave away an attractive map of the "Green Coast-Road" running from the North of Denmark to the Rhine delta in Holland. (Updated 29 September 2005)

Tesco in Poland
The UK's largest food retailer, Tesco, is building hypermarkets in a number of Eastern European countries including Poland. Its local subsidiary has recently sold a map of the country listing Tesco hypermarket locations. (Updated 29 September 2005)

Elf in Luxembourg
Relative to the number of service stations supplied and period of operations, Elf maps are some of the least commonly found. An example is now shown from a fourth country - Luxembourg. (Updated 26 September 2005)

The Mobilgas Economy Run
With the ever increasing threat from Global Climate Change, it is interesting to look at the - relatively few - initiatives by petrol companies to promote fuel economy. One of the longest running was the Mobil Economy Run, and a 1959 booklet of Mobilgas locations in Britain offered some useful tips to motorists on how to conserve fuel. (Updated 25 September 2005)

Tesco's 2005 Storefinder
The UK's largest food retailer, Tesco, also has a substantial associated chain of petrol stations. It fairly regularly issues a "Storefinder" designed to allow motorists to locate "Tesco Stores & Petrol Stations, when you're out & about". (Updated 18 September 2005)

Duckham's Town Routes
The UK lubricant specialist Duckham's produced a number of small format atlases in the 1930s, as well as a companion booklet of Town Routes. This showed 29 town plans, ranging from Aberdeen to York. (Updated 18 September 2005)

Get Your Esso Road Maps Now
This was the message on a die-cut card point of sale promotional tool used in Esso service stations around 1960, and shown on the page looking at how Esso and National Benzole promoted their road maps and other travel aids. (Updated 16 September 2005)

Top of PageA MOL map of Budapest
MOL is the largest brand of petrol in Hungary, as the successor to the former state monopoly company. Although a sheet map and road atlas of the country have previously been shown, I have now added a city map of the capital, Budapest. (Updated 5 September 2005)

OMV in Serbia and Hungary
Austria's OMV has been one of the most active brands expanding into Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Two recent maps have been added: a 56 page atlas of Serbia and a third map of Hungary. The Serbian atlas is also shown on the Yugoslavia summary page. To help keep the OMV page to a manageable size, the Deltin maps from Bavaria have now been moved to their own page. (Updated 5 September 2005)

Another 1970s design of Aral Tourenkarte
Although not many survive, there are now known to have been at least three different designs of the Aral Touring maps drawn by Witzel that were sold in the 1970s. (Updated 30 August 2005)

Montan Union in Austria
The German coal and oil distributor Montan Union established a subsidiary in Austria before World War II. By the early 1960s, the Austrian Montan Union (which may by then have been independent of the German company) supplied 120 service stations mainly in Styria, and issued a road map of the entire country. (Updated 29 August 2005)

A small-scale AVIA map of France
Most AVIA maps of France were produced by Michelin at 1:1,000,000, but in 1959 they put the country onto a single small sheet at the very small scale of 1:2,666,666. (Updated 29 July 2005)

A Shell Cartoguide of "Europe"
Maps produced for Shell in France went under the name cartoguide. In 1960 a map of "Europe" was added to the domestic set, but it actually only covered S Germany, Austria, N & C Italy, Switzerland, W Yugoslavia and SE France. (Updated 28 July 2005)

An earlier locator booklet and map from Igol
Igol is of the largest independent names in French lubricants. A locator booklet with map has now been found from 1976, which is earlier than the oldest one previously shown. (Updated 27 July 2005)

Diesel & Truck Facility Maps
Diesel fuel was first used to power lorries and other commercial vehicles in Europe in the 1920s. Dedicated maps for diesel fuel customers appear to have been produced only occasionally, starting in the 1950s. In more recent years, though, maps and directories with quite rudimentary maps have been produced for commercial vehicle drivers (truckers) as a way of showing where sites with truck facilities are located that will accept a particular payment system card. (Updated 24 July 2005)

Early BP maps
Very few pre-war BP maps are found compared to those from Shell or Esso. However two additional early maps are now shown: a 1920s BP Guide to South Eastern England and a 1936 Energic sectional map of France. (Updated 23 July 2005)

Top of PageA recent Intermarché map
Intermarché is the most widespread of the supermarket chains that have between them opened several thousand cut-price no-frills service stations in their car parks. A 2005 Intermarché map shows all store locations, and lists which ones also sell petrol. (Updated 23 July 2005)

Q8 pocket map of Belgium
Q8, like several other Belgian petrol companies, has produced a small format location map for their service stations. The 2002 example shows where customers can get points by using their Q8 Plus loyalty card to earn points. (Updated 23 July 2005)

Itinoroutes from Antar
Antar was a large French brand that fell under the control of Elf in the mid-1960s, although the name continued in use for another 30 years. Although no sheet maps are known from the brand after 1964, a couple of years later it put out a set of Itinoroutes, which were essentially strip maps printed on light card. (Updated 23 July 2005)

A fourth map from Boie
Ernst Boie is a large regional fuel distributor based in Lübeck, Northern Germany, that ran filling stations under its own name until the early 1970s when it switched to the AVIA co-operative brand. A fourth (and most recent) map from the company, dated 1959, has now been discovered. (Updated 23 July 2005)

A Mobil Austrian Sectional map
A sectional map of Western Austria, date from 1959 or soon after, has been added to the Mobil page. (Updated 23 July 2005)

Aral maps
The Aral page had grown to be one of the largest on this website, so I have split it into three. The main Aral page covers its history and looks mainly at sectional maps of Germany, as well as those from Derop, a company it acquired in the 1930s. The second page focuses on Touring maps and Freizeitkarten, for use mainly by holidaymakers, as well as the Left & Right maps from the autobahns. Two new images of (and from) a 1975-6 touring map of Oberbayern have been added to this page. The final page pulls together Aral maps from outside Germany, including Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and maps covering countries where Aral has not sold fuel. (Updated 12 July 2005)

An Esso map of Lourdes
Still in France, an Esso map has been found of the pilgrimage city of Lourdes. Undated, it appears to be from the 1950s and has very basic cartography showing Esso service stations and parking areas. (Updated 10 July 2005)
I am also pleased to have been able to add a page in Greek about Greek maps.

French maps from Ozo and Stellis
Up to now, the only OZO map shown has been from Switzerland, despite the company being based in France. This has now been corrected with the addition of two French examples from the 1950s: I also hope to be able to add an Italian OZO image soon. OZO was acquired by the large French firm Total at the end of the 1950s and at much the same time Total also acquired Stellis, a smaller company from which a map is shown for the first time. (Updated 23 June 2005)

Top of PageMore Serco maps
Up to now, only one Serco map of France has been shown as they are all externally rather similar. However a 1935 example has now been added, as well as a description of a 1938 map booklet. (Updated 9 June 2005)

Strato is another small West German company that no longer exists but which had a map printed specially for it around 1960. (Updated 5 June 2005)

Another Swedish Shell
Although there are fair number of maps from Svenska Shell shown, I have added the first example from the 1980s, which was distinguished by using the Falk patent folding system. (Updated 18 May 2005)

Gasolin maps
The page of Gasolin maps has been tidied up, and an extra design, from 1954, added. Maps from the precursor companies Leuna and Nitag have now been placed onto their own page (see below). (Updated 14 May 2005)

Leuna city plans
In the 1930s, the German firm Leuna issued a number of city plans. Some of these, now shown here for the first time, had dramatic painted covers. (Updated 14 May 2005)

Esso Guide to Danish harbours and waters
Esso has produced more cruising or navigation guides than any other petrol company in Europe. To add to examples already shown from Britain, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands, there is now a 1964 guide from Denmark. (Updated 14 May 2005)

Alternative fuels in Germany in the 1940s
Germany lacked oil supplies in the War, so invested heavily in alternative fuels production. Although most of the effort was focused on oil from coal, a September 1941 map has surfaced showing filling stations from Generatorkraft, which appears to have specialised in providing wood pellets for use in steam lorries. (Updated 7 May 2005)

The glossary expands...
One of the most popular pages on this site is the glossary of Gas Station terms. This is regularly expanded, and recently added terms include Blotter, Chariot, Fridge, NFR, Palm Diesel and Sample Bottles. No other page in Google shares these terms! (Updated 18 April 2005)
And the latest additions help distinguish between Boulevard signs, Curb signs, Flange signs, High rise signs, Pole signs and Pylons, as well as suggesting which country has Petrol Kiosks rather than gas stations. (Updated 7 May 2005)

Top of PagePetrol and Oil Company Maps from Italy
The final country page has at long last been added to the site. This shows some 30 maps issued by firms in Italy ranging from the mid 1920s to 1999.
The only countries missing are the Baltic states (for which only one map, from Neste, is known), and Ukraine - which is on the fringes of Europe. Admittedly this excludes four countries for which no oil company titles are known at all - Albania, Belarus, Moldova and Malta: only the last named is likely to have had a small number before the industry was nationalised. It also excludes the "postage stamp" states of Andorra, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Monaco and the Vatican City. Of these Andorra at one time had a significant business selling cheap petrol to visitors from France and Spain with around 50 filling stations on the main North-South road through the country. However no maps are known from any of the mainly French-based companies present. If you can help by sending me scans of any petrol maps from these countries, please let me know. I may extend the site coverage to North Africa and, possibly, Israel in due course. For a full list of countries covered, please follow this link. (Updated 17 April 2005)

More adverts
As part of a tidying up of the pages about adverts on road maps, an advert from a street plan of Zaventem for the small brand Missil has been included, as well as repeating the 1939 Shell/Esso/Mobiloil panel from the Finnish auto club map. A Motor map of Central Scotland carrying a Mobil advert has been added to the British adverts page. (Updated 10 April 2005)

An early Olex advert
In the 1920s, most petrol companies did not produce their own maps in Europe. However they did often advertise on commercial issues, and a Sanwald map of the Black Forest region carried just one large advert, from Olex. (Updated 30 March 2005)

Technical Changes
This website has been in existence for 6¼ years, and has evolved through a number of generations. I have sought to keep it compliant with modern standards, but readily accessible on the lowest commonly used hardware, software and dial-up modems. As all browsers now fully support external style sheets, I have finally converted the site to utilise them, and have at the same time introduced a new navigation bar across the top of almost all the English language pages. (Some comments on this are included on my technical notes page.) As part of a general tidying up I have also moved a few pages; please let me know if you find any problems either with the new navigation top bar, or with internal links. (Updated 26-7 March 2005)

The Rome Olympics map from Petrol Caltex
In 1960, there were no restrictions of the number of petrol companies that could issue maps for the Rome Olympics, and a graphic example has now been found from Petrol Caltex to join those from Shell, Esso and BP. (Updated 20 March 2005)

Esso's Durch Deutschland tigern atlas from 1996
Esso's German operation has from time to time produced a map booklet at 1:550,000, sold at a bargain price. An earlier example, dating from 1996, has now been included. (Updated 19 March 2005)

A 1973 Migrol (not Migros) map
Migrol is the brand that has been used for many years at petrol stations associated with the Swiss Migros retail empire. Most Migros group maps mark Migrol service stations alongside supermarkets, restaurants and travel agencies operated by the group, and until now the only known map just marking Migrol stations was quite recent. However a uniquely Migrol map of Switzerland has now been found from as long ago as 1973, suggesting that the petrol operation may have sold its own maps at the same time as the Migros group sold collective maps. (Updated 8 March 2005)

Top of PageRecent Texaco maps from Benelux
Some oil companies continue to produce maps for free distribution to card holders. Two recent examples are now shown from Texaco covering Belgium/Luxembourg and the Netherlands. (Updated 3 March 2005)

Deltin and OMV
Deltin was a German independent acquired by OMV in the late 1990s, that regularly issued a map of its home territory of Bavaria. A fifth design is now shown, dating from soon after the company switched to an updated logo in 1974. I have also added the two Czech OMV map images to this page that were previously only shown on the Czech country page. (Updated 25 February 2005)

Petrol Company Histories
Although this website is mainly about road maps, I know that some people visit it to find out information about specific petrol or oil companies. It has for some while had a bibliography of books about the oil industry and petroleum collectibles, and I have recently expanded the page to list 50 books about individual company histories. (Updated 12 February 2005)

An earlier CIP map
CIP, the Cie Industrielle des Pétroles, issued a number of maps in the 1930s, before and immediately after its purchase by Mobilgas. The earliest known example is now shown, with cartography by Blondel la Rougery dating to around 1934. (Updated 7 February 2005)

A beach map from Leuna
In 1939 the large German oil refiner issued an extra section in its series of sheet maps covering the Baltic Sea Coast under the title of a "Bäderkarte". This map had a considerably more graphic cover than normal maps in the series. (Updated 28 January 2005)

Leaflets advertising maps
Petrol company most commonly rely on point of sales material to advertise their maps, and only rarely issue leaflets promoting them. A 1958 National Benzole leaflet has been added to the page on promotional items.
The glossary has again been expanded, and now includes information about solus stations, two gallon cans and BS 4250 among other topics. (Updated 28 January 2005)

A Map from Bolco of Hannover
Bolte + Co., K.-G. was based in Hannover and sold fuel under the Bolco brand. In the early or mid 1950s it sold a Falk-plan "atlas" (patent folded map) of West Germany with a particularly attractive cover. (Updated 13 January 2005)

Wohin geht die Fahrt? - Where to go on a journey? (Standard, 1935)
Around 1935 Standard (Esso) published a magazine format atlas showing German motorists where they might go on a trip. Although it was printed on cheap paper, it provides a colourful item promoting Standard's road map series. (Updated 2 January 2005)

I have now updated my swap (trade) list.

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Text, "new" icon and layout © Ian Byrne, 2004-5

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