Esso began life as the Anglo American Oil Company in 1888. It was the first foreign affiliate of John D Rockefeller's US company the Standard Oil Trust. It had a head office at Bishopsgate, London, and a depot at Purfleet in Essex. The depot stored paraffin being shipped from New York for use in lamps throughout England.
Mobil's roots in Britain go back to 1885 when Vacuum Oil, a US company producing superior lubricating oil, opened a sales office in Liverpool.