On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog


patents held by Phillips 66 . - impressive!

Frank Phillips home

Dewey Hotel

Tom Mix Museum

Nellie Johnstone No 1

A rainy day is a good day to visit museums. First stop was the Phillips 66 Museum. The docent was no where near as good as Marcella at Conoco but I learned about Phillips Petroleum just the same.

Ever wonder why 66? There are so many myths about the trademark but here is the true story according to the museum info. A special executive committee meeting was called to settle the trademark question. Phillips had been tossing 66 around because the gravity of their new fuel was in the range of 66 but that was dismissed. The name Route 66 was originally shelved because marketing wanted to appeal to more than just a single highway. But what happened when a Phillips official was returning to company headquarters in Bartlesville, Oklahoma from the refinery in the Panhandle of Texas changed their thinking. The company car he was using was road testing the new Phillips gasoline. "This car goes like 60 on our new gas!" the official exclaimed. "Sixty, nothing," answered the driver. "We're doing 66!." This story was related the next day at the meeting and someone asked where this incident occurred. The answer was "near Tulsa on Route 66." That did it - they all thought Phillips 66 sounded catchy.

Next I visited the home of Frank Phillips - founder of Phillips Petroleum. The 22 room house is lovely and comfortable - certainly nothing like the Marland mansion. On the other hand, Frank never went broke! He set up trust funds for his son and two foster daughters and then donated most of his money to charitable causes. Tomorrow, weather permitting, I will visit his ranch called Woolaroc.

Eleven o'clock and it is still drizzling. Down the road is a small town called Dewey. There are two attractions here - The Dewey Hotel and the Tom Mix Museum. The hotel was built in 1908 by Jacob Bartles - the namesake of Bartlesville and founder of Dewey. Jacob was an interesting guy. He had a store on the north side of Bartlesville but they put the railroad station on the south side. Business on the south side boomed and Jacob was left out. What did he do? He built a road going three miles out of town and founded the town of Dewey. Bartles loaded his store onto large log rollers and hitched that up to a team of oxen. It took five months to relocate the store but the store remained open for business during the entire time. Unfortunately, the structure burned down in the 1950's.

The Tom Mix Museum is located here because he was a deputy sheriff in Dewey before becoming " King of the Cowboys." Most of his personal belongings are in the museum - guns, saddles, hats, boots, costumes. Actually, it was an interesting place and I'm glad I stopped in - it's right across the street from the old hotel.

Back in Bartlesville, the rain stopped just long enough for me to visit the replica of Oklahoma's first commercial oil well, the Nellie Johnstone No.1 It is located on the exact spot of the historic well and on special occasions they can make it gush water.

Speaking of water - it's raining again - back to the hotel. Hope it clears up tomorrow.

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