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Navigation aidRoad maps issued by lubricating oil companies - Germany

Fuchs, Pintsch Oel and Viscobil


The maps from the three brands shown on this page all come from Germany.


Fuchs Petrolub is Germany's largest specialist lubricant company, owning a number of lubricants firms in other European countries (such as Silkolene in the UK).

1950s Fuchs map of Germany

This is the only known Fuchs branded road map, most probably dating from the 1950s. It consists of light card covers encompassing a typical Falk "atlas" - the patent dissected map of Germany that allows it to be opened out sectionally without unfolding the entire map.

Fuchs has expanded outside Germany to become roughly the 10th largest lubricant company worldwide. One of its acquisitions was the UK firm Century Oils, which also once issued a road atlas.

Image courtesy of Wilhelm Feuer

Pintsch Oel

Pintsch Oel KG was based in Berlin and appears to have sold only lubricants, mainly under the "Speedwell" brand. After the war it operated a number of plants along the Rhine, but by the 1980s these had been abandoned were known only as an environmental problem! It is not known what happened to the company itself. It is not thought that Pintsch's use of the name "Speedwell" was linked to the use of the same name on lubricants in Britain in the 1930s by the British Oil and Turpentine Corp. (which used a running tiger as its logo).

1934 Pinstch Oel atlas of Germany - front

1934 Pinstch Oel atlas of Germany - rear

Pintsch Oel issued this folded atlas of Germany in 1934 - the date is clearly printed on the flyleaf. It used a Stritzke & Rothe design that provides 15 thumb-indexed pages at a scale of 1:1,000,000. Unlike many of the versions for Uniti members, the reverse of each map page was left blank, so no town plans were incorporated. The external cover, again unusually, was gloss finished, with information about the technical characteristics of Pintsch oils printed on the inside covers. The front was very plain; the rear showed Pintsch's trademark Roman chariot.

Please note that Veedol has been moved to its own page.

Top of PageViscobil

Viscobil was a German lubricant blender based in Hamburg, established in 1928. Around the late 1950s it was bought by DEA, which used the name as a grade of lubricants right up to its purchase by Shell in 2001.

Cover of 1953 Viscobil atlas

The two images here come from a 1953 atlas in A5 format. 48 maps from fellow Hamburg company Schwarz & Wähner covered all of Western Germany (except the Saar, which was still independent), each showing a tour highlighted by thicker roads. Page 40 featured a 366km long trip across the Black Forest, from Freiburg to Schaffhausen and back. The style owes more to some of the pre-war maps, and indeed the motorways are still described as being Reichs-Autobahn.

Map 40 from 1953 Viscobil atlas

It is not clear how Viscobil atlases were distributed, but they may have been used as a promotional item for customers buying larger cans of oil, as they lack any cover price.
The left atlas dates from the 1950s and the right one from 1964, after the DEA takeover. It is made from two sheets pasted together into an "L" and then partially dissected and refolded, using a Falk patent design.

1950s Viscobil road atlas of Germany

1964 Viscobil road atlas of Germany
Image left courtesy Jon Roma

Top of PageThere are other German lubricant company maps known from Castrol and Veedol, and some JRO maps carry prominent advertising from the Munich based Optimol. None are known from other companies in Germany, nor there any maps known from lubricant suppliers in countries other than Britain, France and Germany, although some are likely to exist; if you know of any, please send me an e-mail.

Text and layout © Ian Byrne, 2001-9

All original copyrights in logos and map extracts and images are acknowledged and images are included on this site for identification purposes only.