“Petrol” is a common term used all over the world. But did you know that the name was invented by Haltermann Carless in 1893?
It was around the 1890s when the development of motor cars started in the UK, replacing more and more of the existing steam-powered vehicles. Back then, Carless was the leading company for the distillation of mineral oil products and the intention was to contribute to the new form of transport by producing a better fuel. Being associated with a man called Frederick Simms, a British motor industry pioneer who was acquainted with the famous Gottlieb Daimler, Carless had been requested to provide a mineral spirit of high volatility for new motor launches.
A new name is born
An agreement was set-up between Simms and Carless regarding the sale of “Launch Spirit” for the Daimler launches. Both realized the importance of having a distinctive name for their new product if they want to keep the supply of mineral spirit in the company‘s hand. They thought of several names, and finally came up with the name “Petrol”. It has been named that ever since.
Carless motor fuel “Petrol” represented an amazing success story, as it played an important role in the evolving automotive and racing market in the UK.
Carless tried to register the trade mark “Petrol”. Unfortunately the Registrar of Trade Marks would not admit the name on the grounds that it was a descriptive word and by law, although a new word, could not be registered.
(From the book „Fueling Success at Carless“, p. 31)