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Nourse Oil Company

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Nourse Oil Co. "Business is Good" The Nourse Brands
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A white-bearded Norseman carries a club and a shield that reads, The Nourse Brands, while wearing a horned helmet and fur-lined boots. He stands above a message that reads, Nourse Oil Co, in black text following orange text that reads, "Business is Good." There is an orange and black checkered outer border and an inner background tan color behind the man. In the center is a whole where a wooden stick should be to use as a spinning top.

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Nourse Oil Co. was an independent oil company founded by John Cuming Nourse at age 19 in 1904. He is also referred to by the name Jack. The company based operations in Kansas City in 1917 where Nourse painted his slogan, “Business is Good,” on the company building. The company produced Nourse Brands motor oil between 1925 and 1945 in Omaha, Nebraska. All of the brand’s advertising featured the “Nourseman.” It is based on the concept of a hardy Norseman with his armor, shield, war club and horned helmet. Nourse wanted his legacy after death to have his name and his Nourse brand be known widely for "lubrication."


“Built his plant out of bleak limestone hillside.” (1917, Sept.). National Petroleum News, 9, 36. 

“Hold services for oil company founder.” (1940, Nov. 26). Berkeley Daily Gazette. 

Kovel R., & Kovel T. (1997, May 11). “Fanciful teapots still popular.” Lawrence Journal-World.

Nourse, J. (1922, Jan. 21). “Building a business around a trade-mark: Nourse finds it pays to connect lubricating oils with a trade-mark play on his name.” The Oil Weekly, 24, 163.

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