In the 1890’s the tank wagons were usually pulled by one horse, two, and even three horses depending on the size of the tank and weight of the load. Capacity of the tanks varied from 300 to 550 gallons for the one and two horse wagons and 900 gallons for the three horse tank wagon (Hidy and Hidy, 1955). Hidy and Hidy (1955) mention that a Standard Oil (New Jersey) station serving Baltimore in 1892, had, “four tank wagons, three for kerosene and one for gasoline” plus extra horses for relays.
Major companies such as Standard and its affiliates had large departments overseeing the bulk marketing of products by tank wagons. This method of transportation had become so important that managers were planning competition strategies as if they were playing war games. A new factor had entered the planners charts in the 1800’s: “the daily traveling capacity of a horse” as put by Hidy and Hidy in their 1955 work on the history of Standard Oil (New Jersey). The usual daily sales and delivery radius from the station was more or less 12 to 15 miles, but distances such as 20 miles or more were sometimes undertaken (White, 1962). Overnights or team relays would allow somewhat greater distances.
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