Sinclair gas stations and Sinclair fuel did not originate in Michigan...but for those of you who remember, it was impossible to drive anywhere and not see that Sinclair logo: a green brontosaurus.

The company was named after its founder, Harry Sinclair, who formed it in 1916 in New York. In 1976 it re-fashioned itself in Wyoming, and now has headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.

When I was a teen that is where I got my gas – at the local Sinclair station on the corner of Clinton and Elizabeth streets in Stockbridge. I could get half a tank of gas for a buck (looking back on that, it makes me wonder why I just didn't fill the whole darn thing up). Gone is the familiar, friendly green brontosaurus – in its place are splashes of green and white that make up a Subway sandwich shop.

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It may seem like some silly insignificant thing, and there are probably those who are wondering why I'm wasting my time writing about this...but that green bronto image is burned into the memories of anyone who was around back then.

Okay, next question: why was a brontosaurus used as the logo/mascot for Sinclair? At the 1933-1934 Chicago World's Fair, Sinclair had their own exhibit. It featured a 4,000-pound animated brontosaurus – the connection being, that dinosaurs provided the fossil fuel needed to develop into petroleum. Kids and adults loved it so much, Sinclair came up with thousands of promotional rubber toy brontos for their customers. It didn't take very long for the company to adopt the image of a bronto for their logo.

In March 2022, Sinclair was sold to HollyFrontier, ending a 106-year privately-owned run. Currently there are over 1,600 independently-run Sinclair stations.

To see a replica of an old Sinclair station in Cassopolis, go here. Then check out the gallery below for images of some old Michigan Sinclair stations...

Old Michigan Sinclair Gas Stations


When Gas Stations Were Fun

Michigan's Standard Gas Stations: 1910s-1950s

Texaco Gas in Michigan

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