The CANFIELD OIL CO. was one of the earliest and most prominent of the independent oil refineries in Cleveland. Incorporated in 1886 by founder Geo. R. Canfield, the first refinery, located at Willson Ave (E. 55th St.) and the Erie Railroad tracks, produced grease for lubrication, illuminating oils, petrolatum, used by drug and cosmetic manufacturers as a base for cosmetics, ointments and salves, and, later, gasoline to service the growing automobile industry. Canfield expanded its operations by incorporating new subsidiaries into which they consolidated subsequent purchases of many small companies.

In Sept. 1907 the company opened its second refinery in Cleveland at the intersection of E. 52nd St. and the Wheeling & Lake Erie tracks. With the expansion of gasoline sales, the company incorporated the Canfield Tank Line Co. in 1912 to transport its products. Canfield added marketing to its refining operations when it opened its first gasoline service station on E. 18th St. between Prospect and Euclid in 1914, and by 1921 it had 7 local stations. There was no tax on gasoline at that time and profit margins were wide. In 1922 Canfield opened a plant in Jersey City to service its growing foreign trade. Company earnings were severely affected by the Depression, forcing it to reduce operations. In 1945 Canfield Oil, employing 260 people, became a subsidiary of Sohio, but retained the Canfield name for its operations. In 1962 the company was merged with another Sohio subsidiary, the Fleet-Wing Corp., in order to eliminate duplicated effort and overlapping territory.


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Jackson, John A. The Canfield Oil Company, 1886-1945 (1945).

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