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Marvalube motor oil

Would any of you older gentlemen remember if marvalube oil was a synthetic oil back in the 1950s, Thanks in advance.

Being that I am well into my sixth decade, I guess that I qualify as “older”.
I will leave it up to others to decide whether I fit the definition of “gentleman”.


Anyway, to return to the OP’s question, I believe that synthetic motor oils did not arrive on the market until the mid to late 1970s. Marvalube was probably not a synthetic motor oil if it was marketed in the 1950s.

The first readily available synthetic, as far as I know, was Conoco “Polar Start” which came out in the early '70’s. Phillips was selling a synthetic lubricant for jet turbine aircraft a little before that…

No synthetic motor oils in the 50s. They brought out multigrade oils then. The synthetic earliest I used was Shell “Synarctic” 0W30 in the early 70s when I was on a Northern posting.

" 0W30 in the early 70s

Someone was making a 0 weight oil in the 70’s. I didn’t think that came out until the last 10 years.

Yes indeed; Shell had extensive operations in Northern Canada and Alaska. Their labs developed a semi-synthetic, Syn-Arctic, to keep the cost down, for use where drivers could not plug in their cars. The pour point was around -55F, and “borderline pumping” about -45F. That would still require plug-ins on the Alaska North Slope in winter, of course.

Shell already had full synthetic oil for aircraft turbo and jet applictions.

The stuff sold for $3.50 a quart in the 70s, quite expensive, but I saved myself a lot of starting hassle and engine wear. It was nice to leave your car at the airport for a week and be sure it would start when you returned.

Later on Mobil came out with Mobil 1, a full synthetic and in the 1990s persuaded Alaska Pipeline Company to completely switch most of their vehicles and engines over to a standard product that met nearly all applications.

Didn’t the Germans use synthetic oil in their aircraft during WWII? I don’t believe they had access to mineral oil after about 1942, did they?

While they did have the Romanian oil fields and refineries (remember the Polesti raid?) you’re right, they did a lot with coal and natural gas conversion. Here are the details from wiki:

"Direct conversion of coal to synthetic fuel was originally developed in Germany. The Bergius process was developed by Friedrich Bergius, yielding a patent on the Bergius process in 1913. Karl Goldschmidt invited him to build an industrial plant at his factory the Th. Goldschmidt AG (now known as Evonik Industries) in 1914. The production began only in 1919.

Also indirect coal conversion (where coal is gasified and then converted to synthetic fuels) was developed in Germany by Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch in 1923. During the World War II, Germany used synthetic oil manufacturing (German: Kohleveredelung) to produce substitute (Ersatz) oil products by using the Bergius process (from coal), the Fischer-Tropsch process (water gas), and other methods (Zeitz used the TTH and MTH processes). The Bergius process plants were the primary source of Nazi Germany’s high-grade aviation gasoline and the source of most of its synthetic oil, 99% of its synthetic rubber and nearly all of its synthetic methanol, synthetic ammonia, and nitric acid. Nearly 1/3 of the Bergius production was produced by plants in P?litz (Polish: Police) and Leuna, with more than 1/3 more in five other plants (Ludwigshafen had a much smaller Bergius plant[15] which improved “gasoline quality by dehydrogenation” using the DHD process).

Synthetic fuel grades included "T.L. [jet] fuel “, “first quality aviation gasoline”, “aviation base gasoline”, and “gasoline - middle oil”; and “producer gas” and diesel were synthesized for fuel as well (e.g., converted armored tanks used producer gas). By early 1944, German synthetic fuel production had reached more than 124,000 barrels per day (19,700 m3/d) from 25 plants, including 10 in the Ruhr Area. In 1937, the four central Germany lignite coal plants at B?hlen, Leuna, Magdeburg/Rothensee, and Zeitz, along with the Ruhr Area bituminous coal plant at Scholven/Buer, had produced 4.8 million barrels (760?10^3 m3) of fuel. Four new hydrogenation plants (German: hydrierwerke) were subsequently erected at Bottrop-Welheim (which used “Bituminous coal tar pitch”), Gelsenkirchen (Nordstern), P?litz, and, at 200,000 tons/yr Wesseling. Nordstern and P?litz/Stettin used bituminous coal, as did the new Blechhammer plants. Heydebreck synthesized food oil, which was tested on concentration camp prisoners. the Geilenberg Special Staff was using 350,000 mostly foreign forced laborers to reconstruct the bombed synthetic oil plants, and, in an emergency decentralization program, to build 7 underground hydrogenation plants for bombing protection (none were completed). (Planners had rejected an earlier such proposal because the war was to be won before the bunkers would be completed.) In July 1944, the ‘Cuckoo’ project underground synthetic oil plant (800,000 m2) was being “carved out of the Himmelsburg” North of the Mittelwerk, but the plant was unfinished at the end of WWII.”

Hey, you stole my source! :wink:

Check’s in the mail!