New pages

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

New in 2010

This page shows the updates that were made to the PetrolMaps website during 2010; it gained another 81 map images but just 3 addtional brands (Divinol, Petronor and Raiffeisen) over the year. Over the passage of time some of the links may no longer work if I have moved images to a new location (for example through splitting large pages), although most of the content of this website is permanent and can still be found by using its search facility. In the year I added the slightly cheeky sub-title "The webmaster's blog" to allow a little more freedom to comment on the maps rather than just to list new additions.

An advert for INA of a map of Istria and the Croatian coast
After the Second World War international brands of petrol were forced out of Yugoslavia and replaced by regional brands, including INA in Croatia. A 1969 Camping map of Istra and Kvarner has now been found that carries an advert on its rear for INA's delta lubricating oil. (Updated 23 December 2010)

Raiffeisen is the branding used by many German co-ops in the banking and agricultural supplies sectors. Many such co-ops in the later field have expanded into supplying fuels, initially to farmers, but more recently through operating conventional self-service stations. Although no "proper" maps are known, I have added a map from a 2010 leaflet produced by the Rheinland-Pfalz co-op Raiffeisen Westeifel. (Updated 5 December 2010)

Mann Egerton
Mann Egerton was a chain of automotive garages and petrol retailer under major brands based in East Anglia that was established in 1898 and subsequently acquired by the Inchcape Group. In 1965 it sold a map of Britain that showed the location of all its garages. (Updated 5 December 2010)

Adverts on the back of KNA maps of Norway
Maps from the Royal Norwegian Automobile Club (KNA - Kongelig Norsk Automobilklub) carried adverts on the rear from the 1930s to the 1960s and, most often, these were for petrol or oil. In the 1930s Mobiloil often provided quite graphic designs, but in the 1950s and 60s advertising was taken by Shell and Esso as well as Mobil. I have added three examples of post-war adverts, alongside the commonly used front cover to the page about oil company adverts on maps. (Updated 5 December 2010)

An Elf Atlas of Germany
Elf mainly issued maps in the first few years after its introduction as a brand name in 1967. Another example from this initial period has been discovered: a medium format atlas of West Germany and Europe dating from around 1970. (Updated 4 December 2010)

Welcome to Udine: a town plan and guide from Aquila
In 1958-9 Aquila, which was owned by the French company Total, issued a series of town plans and guides with text in four languages. The Udine example has been added to the Italian overview page, partly because there is unlikely to be another oil company issue of this city. (Updated 3 December 2010)

A rewrite of the Fina pages
Until now, Fina has been covered on a single lengthy page. This has meant that quite a few maps have not been shown. Consequently I have split the page into three, adding about a dozen extra maps and atlases for the brand:

(Updated 27 November 2010)

Two BP maps of Bulgaria and Romania
In common with the rest of Eastern Europe (except, in a small way, Hungary), major international brands of petrol were not available in Romania or Bulgaria during the Cold War era. However some of the major firms included them in their Touring Service maps, and images of the 1964 and 1965 BP maps have been added. (In fact the younger map was shown a number of years ago.) (Updated 27 November 2010)

A 1955 BP map of Sweden
BP's 1955 cover for Sweden is notable for the way that it clearly shows, with a driver's-eye view of the road ahead, how traffic still drove on the left (as indeed it did until September 1967). (Updated 27 November 2010)

The First 2011 Map
Although the number of new petrol company map issues seems to be falling steadily, possibly as a result of declining sales due to competition from online maps and satnavs, a handful of issues continue to be published. In Germany, both Shell and Aral maintain a map programme, although smaller than historically, with their branded maps really being Mairs and Busche's domestic issues. The titles that seem most specific for filling stations are the A4 format softback atlases of Germany and Europe, sold in Shell and Aral stations at a competitive price. A 2010-11 issue was prepared for Shell in mid-2009, and a 2011 Aral edition was released this summer. This is shown on the Introduction page, as it is the most recent title. However, I have taken the opportunity to move the previous (2010) Aral atlas to the German summary page, alongside the Shell equivalent, and also added a Shell sheet map from the last decade. In contrast, the last two regular issuers of atlases in Britain (Murco petrol stations and Morrisons supermarkets) appear to have given up selling customised versions after 2008 and 2009 respectively. (Updated 8 November 2010)

Divinol was the brand used on service stations and lubricants by Zeller + Gmelin. Although by 1972 most of its fuels were sold under the Chevron brand, it still issued a Divinol road map of West Germany, mainly promoting its motor oils. After Chevron withdrew from Germany the brand was revived, but disappeared from service stations in the mid-1990s; it is still used on automotive and industrial lubricants. (Updated 28 October 2010)

Another Total series from Britain
Although Total issued several series of road maps in Britain, it supplied under 1,000 filling stations. As a result its maps are quite rarely seen. Even so, I was surprised recently to discover a totally new sectional map series, dating from 1976. (Updated 27 October 2010)

A pre-war Agip map of Imperial Ethiopia
Italy occupied Ethiopia between 1936 and 1941. The largest Italian oil company, Agip, issued a map of the country during this short period that highlighted planned roads radiating out from the capital Addis Ababa. (Updated 26 October 2010)

Maps of Ireland from UK Petrol Companies
Not all the major companies selling petrol in Britain also sold fuel in Ireland; however some felt it desirable to include a map of Ireland in their sectional sheet series of the British Isles. I have added two such examples to the Irish maps page - a 1950s map from Mobil (which has never sold petrol in Ireland) and a 1960s map from Regent (which did sell petrol in Northern Ireland, but not in the Republic). (Updated 23 October 2010)

BP's guide to Lisbon
BP was one of just 5 brands of petrol available in Portugal in the 1970s. To help the tourism industry, it produced a slightly idiosyncratic English language booklet and map giving information about what a visitor could do in Lisbon. (Updated 23 October 2010)

A Regent map of Greater London
Regent sectional maps of Britain are relatively commonly seen, reflecting the brand's status as the fifth largest in the early 1960s with around 4,500 outlets. More information about Regent's operations, including a number of photos, can be found in the September 2010 edition of Check The Oil! magazine. However their maps of Greater London and Ireland are a lot less often found, and the London one has only now been added to the website. It also explains that the five sectional maps were sold simultaneously with the two smaller scale route planning maps, whereas previously I had assumed that the sectional maps replaced the planning maps. And, intriguingly, it refers to there also being a pictorial map of London, which I have never seen... (Updated 17 October 2010)

Updated Swap List for the Road Maps Collectors Association Annual Meeting
I shall be attending the annual RMCA swap meet in Dallas, Texas on 17-18 September 2010. The Friday evening is for room to room trading for members only; public admission will be on Saturday at the Hilton Garden Inn, DFW Airport South, Irving, Texas. If you are intending to come and would like me to bring any specific maps, or types of map, on a no-obligation basis, then please send me an e-mail either directly or via the RM: listserv. I have listed my current duplicates that I could bring over on the Trade/Swaps page.

This was an excellent event, including a tour of the Bankhead Highway between Irving and Garland, on one of the USA's first transcontinental routes. Next year the event is likely to be held in Ohio. I have again updated my Swap List following the event.

An Interactive Map of Britain from the National Library of Scotland
This new page embeds a composite map of Britain, drawn from out of copyright Ordnance Survey maps dating from 1919-1947 in the National Library of Scotland, that can be zoomed in at scales down to one inch to the mile. It's not a petrol map, but a superb resource if you are looking for pre-Second World War road alignments. Most parts of the map pre-date MoT road classification numbers. To justify its inclusion, I have compared the OS Quarter Inch map view around Husbands Bosworth with the equivalent 1956 Shell map (albeit originally printed at a smaller scale). (Updated 12 August 2010)

A 1950s Avia map, and a sliding distance indicator
Two additional items have been added: a conventional Michelin map of France dating from 1958, and a slightly earlier sliding distance indicator of Switzerland. The latter was produced for Ernst Hürlimann, a large Swiss Avia participant, and also featured an advert for its Rollsynol motor oil. (Updated 11 July 2010)

A Stelline map of part of France
Lille, Bonnières et Colombes was established near Paris in 1877 and operated filling stations under the Stellis and, later, Stelline brands. An undated, but most likely 1950s, Stelline map of part of the country has now been found. (Updated 5 July 2010)

Pre-1939 maps of Norway
The Norway country page has been expanded to show five more images from pre-war maps of the country, including a tourist board issue of Scandinavia sponsored by the three main petrol companies, a Shell and another Esso map produced in association with the NAF auto club, and another Mobiloil ad from a map produced by the rival KNA auto club. (Updated 4 July 2010)

More adverts on map covers
Most maps shown on this website were exclusively sold (or more rarely given away) by the petrol or oil company whose logo they carry. But petrol companies have also, from time to time, paid for adverts on commercial map issues and this was especially common before World War II when fewer European firms sponsored their own maps than in North America. Two more examples are now shown: an undated 1930s book of Newnes Handy Touring Maps of Great Britain that carry an advert for BP, and a 1931 ANWB sectional map of the Netherlands that carries a fine art nouveau advert for Shell. (Updated 3 July 2010)

Pratts 1904 atlases, and later London to Coast route maps and Filling Depots for Commercial Vehicles
Although this site shows a ca1899 map of France published by the makers of Oriflamme burning oils, it is not a true petrol map as it lacks roads and was not aimed at motorists. The first true motoring maps published in association with a petrol company come from just 5 years later in 1904, when the Anglo-American Oil Company (part of the UK giant Standard Oil) published a pair of small format road atlases covering the Southern half of Britain between them under the name of their Pratt's Motor Spirit. The following year these small maps were extended to Northern England and Scotland, and the three English sections then reissued as a single volume. That was the start of over 100 years of oil company motoring maps, an idea that reached its zenith in the USA in the twenty years leading up to the oil crises of the early 1970s.
I have now added images of the very earliest Pratt's atlases in red and light green covers. I have also completed (so far as is known) the Pratts page with a slightly later fold-out Coast to London Route maps, and a 1929 booklet listing Filling Depots for Commercial Vehicles which includes a rudimentary map. These "true" maps complement the pictorial plans posted in June. (Updated 2 July 2010)

A Mobil lubricants map of East Germany
The German Democratic Republic (East Germany - DDR) had a petrol monopoly until markets started to liberalise around 1990. As West Germans could not freely travel to their eastern neighbour, there were few oil company issues until the Berlin Wall at the end of 1989. Anticipating a flood of tourists from West to east, Mobil published a map of the DDR in the following year. It is a surprising issue as Mobil only sold lubricants (not fuels) in West Germany, and no other sheets maps are known to have been issued by Mobil's West German subsidiary. (Updated 29 June 2010)

A Texaco map of Luxembourg
Maps of Luxembourg on its own are few and far between, but a 1990 Texaco map - the first of the Grand Duchy known from the company - has now been found. (Updated 28 June 2010)

Pratts and Esso Pictorial Plans
As well as traditional road maps, Pratts commissioned some 'pictorial plans' from the artist AE Taylor from 1930. These were issued in a number of formats, including as a bound volume after the Pratts branding had been replaced by Esso. In 1951, Esso sponsored a pictorial souvenir map for the Festival of Britain. (Updated 7 June 2010)

A Shell advert on an Autos-Relais map
The Société des Autos-Relais SARL are known to have issued a number of advertising maps of France in the 1920s/30s. An example has recently been found on which the only advert (on the rear cover) is from Shell, although the map itself makes no reference to the brand, but instead marks selected hotels and Autos-Relais. (Updated 14 May 2010)

A mini-atlas from PAM in vinyl covers
PAM was owned by the Dutch fuels trader SHV and had service stations in Holland, Germany and Austria. Shortly before its Austrian chain was sold to the state in 1971, the company published a small format atlas of the country. (Updated 1 May 2010)

An early European Chevron map
Chevron was only introduced as a brand into Europe around 1968-9, as the company had previously operated through Caltex, a joint venture with Texaco. Its earliest maps, such as one of Belgium now added to the website, were darker blue in colour, and often had one cover showing an oil can bearing an insignia not widely used in Europe. (Updated 20 April 2010)

Intertank's early maps for Western visitors to East Germany
Western tourists visiting the German Democratic Republic (DDR) were not permitted to buy fuel at the main state network of Minol branded filling stations. Instead they were required to use "Intertank" stations that accepted hard currency for fuel purchases. Given that there were only 88 such stations in the entire country in 1965, it made sense for a special Intertank map to be produced showing its locations, and highlighting the locations that sold Super-blue petrol rather than the low quality VK 88 grade. A 1965 map is now shown, together with the area around Dresden (which had four such stations). (Updated 20 March 2010)

A BP map of Brands Hatch produced for the 1966 F1 Grand Prix
Today sees the start of the 2010 Formula 1 Grand Prix series and the return to F1 of Lotus in British Racing Green. Given that petrol company sponsors play an important part in the series, it is perhaps surprising that no regular maps are known that take advantage of the link. However, the nearest is a recently found BP map of Brands Hatch, taken from a series of 8 maps tying in to the main British motor racing meetings of 1966, showing a green racing car on its cover, probably intended to represent the Lotus of Jim Clark, winner of the previous year's race. (Updated 14 March 2010)

Esso France's Répertoires Kilométriques
In the late 1930s, Esso produced some Répertoires Kilométriques - essentially mileage charts between main French towns, supported by sketch maps locating those towns. Three examples have been added to the site, including one that takes the format of a sliding mileage chart. (Updated 14 March 2010)

A Total map of an Algerian oil production zone
Most petrol branded road maps are designed primarily for motorists using their fuels. However occasionally branded maps have been produced by the upstream arms of oil companies, and an example has recently been found from Algeria in which Total (CFPA) and SN Repal (a precursor of Elf) collaborated to produce a map of their Hassi-Messaoud oil production area in Algeria. (Updated 14 March 2010)

DEA (Knittel)
DEA was unusual in Europe in that a significant proportion of its branded service stations were supplied by independent distributors (akin to US jobbers). Occasionally these firms issued their own maps, generally of a limited area. The most recent example of this known is a 1990s Städte-Verlag street map of the city of Fulda, where Knittel, the issuing DEA distributor, is based. (Updated 7 March 2010)

A recent Galp map of Portugal
In Iberia, branded maps have been limited by the small market in Portugal (with fewer major players than other countries) and a long-standing monopoly in Spain that only ended in the 1990s. However, after more than 30 years of selling petrol in Portugal, a Galp map has now been found. Galp is the largest brand in Portugal, but neither it nor its predecessors (Sacor and Sonap) are known to have issued many branded maps. Indeed, although it is a 2009-10 edition, it may actually be the very first Galp map. (Updated 7 March 2010)

To complete the Cepsa story started last month, I have added an image of a 1999 Cepsa guide, from a series that competed with the Campsa guides for several years up to 2003. (Updated 7 March 2010)

Cepsa and Elf
Continuing a short Iberian theme, two more recent Cepsa Mapamax atlases of Spain have been added to the Elf page: Cepsa is 48.83% owned by Total but was previously an affiliate of Elf. The 2009 Mapamax edition is also shown alongside the 2009 Repsol atlas described below on an updated Spanish maps page.
And while editing the Elf page, I have added a Renault-Elf map - possibly used as a promotional gift from the Reader's Digest - dating from 1972. Coincidentally Reader's Digest have this week filed for bankruptcy in the UK, following on from last year's filing for Chapter XI by the US parent. Although it is fashionable to deride them, the Digest did some excellent cartographic work in Britain, often jointly with the AA on road atlases, but also on guides to country walks and other thematic guides. Much of the attention to detail was due to the diligence and cartographic rectitude of the late Tim Nicholson, who was himself a notable collector of petrol maps. Having said that, there are no known examples of British oil company maps produced by or in association with the Reader's Digest. (Updated 18 February 2010)

Repsol and Petronor
Until recently the only Repsol maps shown were two regional atlases sold in 2000, in rather poor quality images, on the Campsa page. Although they are still shown, as Repsol put its own branding onto the long established Campsa guide in 2009, I have reordered the page to give prominence to the current branding, and added the 2009 and 2010 guides. I have also added 2 guides and a sheet map from Portugal, where the Repsol name has been used on the main spiral guides since around 2001. Finally, I have also tracked down a reasonable image of the Petronor guide to the Basque Country, although attempts to purchase one are proving harder, as for the regional Repsol guides, despite all being offered for sale on a leading Spanish internet book retailer's site... (Updated 18 February 2010)

Updates to the Texaco page
Texaco issued maps in Europe in two distinct periods: before World War II and after 1967, with its service stations carrying the Caltex brand in the intervening period. As part of general updating of the page, I have added 8 new images, including 3 from maps of Ireland and Norway that have not previously been shown on this website. (Updated 10 January 2010)

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