Esso Elephant Kerosene - Sri Lanka 2020
Industry Sri Lanka

Elephant Kerosene

I stumbled upon a pile of these signe when visiting an antique shop in Sri Lanka, and have since tried to discover more about the Elephant Kerosene brand.

This has not been an easy task, as most searches result in signs for sale, or past auctions.

Multiple producers/companies

Originally I thought that this was a kerosene product, sold locally by Esso, to the brittish colonies of India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). But during my initial research I discovered that the Elephant logo and Elephant Kerosene name has been used by multiple companies.

The signs are either yellow or a deep bordeaux red.

Standard Oil Co. of New York

Standard-Vacuum Oil Company


Vertical Esso sign – Elephant Kerosene

Bengal Enamel

Most of the Esso enamel signs I’ve seen have a little “BENGAL ENAMEL” mark in the bottom left corner.
These signs are often beening dated as 1930s, 1940s and 1950s signs in the ads they appear in online.

Bengal Enamel Works LTD produced Enamel signs in India between 1921 and 2004.

Since the signs are produced in India, I expect that ESSO sold the same brand there.

Modern reproductions

Redbubble artist PumpingGas sells EEK branded merchandice.

Walmart also sells “Vintage style reproduction” signs.

Seen in the wild

New Mexico, USA

Ian took a nice picture of an Esso station on Route 66, of a EEK enamel sign, painted on the wall, with rusty edges and all. I suspect this is a repainted petrol station, and that the image is recreated from an image on the Internet, and not a recreation of a local sign.

I have not seen these in USA before, and the design is like the Indian “Bengal Enamel” design.

If you have any information about the Elephant Kerosene brand, please share them in a comment!

One thought on “Elephant Kerosene

  1. I have an antique Glidden can that says elephant oil on it. I contacted Glidden and they said they thought it might be A kerosene product but beyond saying it was old they had no idea as to when it was produced. I have not been able to find anything about it on the internet. I could send a picture of the can if you would like to see it. Even the seams on the can are different from other square oil cans.

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