Family History

Louis Blaustein immigrated to the United States from his parents’ home in Lithuania in 1883, at the age of fourteen. He became a peddler, traveling from farm to farm in eastern Pennsylvania. Later, he settled in Baltimore, where he married Henrietta Gittelsohn and had five children, three of whom survived into adulthood: Jacob Blaustein (1892-1970), Fanny Blaustein Thalheimer (1895-1957) and Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg (1899-1992).

In the early years of the twentieth century, Louis and Jacob Blaustein began delivering kerosene from a horse-drawn wagon through the streets of Baltimore. In 1910, they founded the American Oil Company (Amoco) in a one-room office in a converted stable, when Jacob was 18 years old. The company’s innovations included one of the first drive-in gas stations, the first gasoline pump to show the motorist the amount of fuel received, and the original anti-knock gasoline that permitted the development of the high-compression engine. In 1931, the American Trading Company was formed to consolidate, expand and diversify the family’s business holdings, later renamed American Trading and Production Corporation (Atapco). A history of Atapco can be found at this link:

Louis Blaustein

Henrietta Blaustein

horse pulling oil cart

American Oil Company tank wagon, 1910

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