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A Moreland Motor Truck and Zerolene Postcard

June 9th, 2006 · No Comments

Moreland Motor Truck and Zerolene

Here’s a handsome and seldom-seen image which recently sold. It’s an unused c. 1915-1925 postcard of a Moreland Motor Truck Co. vehicle at East Lake Park in Los Angeles, California. Nicely detailed and with deep, rich colors, this vintage postcard shows a distillate 4-wheel truck marked as number 1609, with prominent advertising on the side for Zerolene, “the Standard Oil for motor cars.” (Zerolene was a product of the Standard Oil Co., now part of Chevron.) The reverse says that the truck operated “on No. 1 Engine Distillate at a saving in fuel cost, over gasoline, of more than 50 percent. Six different sizes from 1500 to 13000 pounds capacity.”

Developed in 1907 at Standard Oil’s Richmond, CA refinery, the lubricant Zerolene got its name because, according to the company, “the product flows freely at zero.”


The Moreland Co.’s founder, Matt Moreland, was one of the founding fathers of the modern long-haul trucking industry. Moreland trucks were only made in small numbers and sold primarily in 11 Western states. Mr. Moreland founded the company in Burbank in 1911, after working as an engineer for Winton and Durocar. While early Morelands used Continental and Hercules gas engines, later models had Waukesha gas engines and Cummins and Hercules diesels. Always an innovator, his early trucks were equipped with gasifiers, which allowed them to burn low-cost distillate fuel (similar to kerosene) such as Zerolene.

Published by Geo. Rice and Son of Los Angeles, this is a desirable petroliana, advertising or transportation collectible! See other examples of automobile postcards at our website.

Road trip! Road trip! Read about our visit to a West Virginia postcard dealer’s shop.

Copyright ©2006 VintagePostcards.org


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