Fairfield, IL on July 9, 1967. I think this would have been on US 45,
but I think that route may run together with IL 15 through town,
looking at my current map. As I remember the main drag through town has
eastbound on one street and west bound on the other. I think this was on the
Sept 1977. Unknown location but believed to have been in southern Illinois.
500 Express station at 1240 Ohio Blvd., Terre Haute, IN. Taken Sept. 17, 2003 by Walt Wimer.
500 Express station at 2445 Hulman St. at 25th, Terre Haute, IN. Taken Sept. 17, 2003 by Walt Wimer.
The 500 EXPRESS brand is the direct descendent of the old 500 PLATOLENE brand
of R. J. Oil Refining Co. They were located in Terre Haute with a small refinery
in Princeton, IN. Per Wayne Henderson's logo book, the company/brand dated back
to the 1940s. By the late 1950s they had around 100 stations in Indiana, Illinois
and Kentucky. Half were supplied direct and the other half by distributors with
no salary operated stations at that time. By the early 70s the refinery was closed
and sold off to Crystal Oil Co, whom I don't think ever reopened it before they got
out of refining and Marketing. Somewhere around that time the headquarters shifted
to Carmi, Ill. and the operation became more or less a retail chain with the
500 PLATOLINE brand pretty much giving way to 500 EXPRESS in recent years.
Prior to their recent selling off of their Illinois stations, they had 16 stations
but are now down to about a half-dozen including these two with their headquarters
back in Terre Haute.
Photos and text by Walt Wimer.
Here is a 1950s 500 PLATOLENE station photo off a matchbook cover.
I saw this station in 1959, the only trip that I saw their stations with the old
checkered flag logo. This station had special signage not found elsewhere as
regular signage was porcelain signs like the logo on the older maps.
This was sort of their "showcase" station back then when most of their stations
were smaller dealer sites. Location is Terre Haute, Indiana.
Here is a scan of a 500 PLATOLENE stamp book. Rather plain looking, but the only one
I have ever seen!! Since the stamps say "R J Oil Refining Co", it is probably
before they closed the refinery. I date it sometime in the late 60s/early 70s.