Business & Finance: Up & Off

Back in the 1920s when the tourist camp was burgeoning into a national eyesore, Pierce Petroleum Corp. launched in the Midwest a chain of pleasant-looking roadside hotels complete with Renaissance restrooms and Colonial halls hung with $20,000 worth of genuine Currier & Ives prints. Attractive though these small hotels were, they turned out to be a great financial flop, and in 1930 along with the rest of Pierce Petroleum's assets, were sold to what is now Harry Ford Sinclair's Consolidated Oil Corp. For its hotels, refineries, pipelines, filling stations, Pierce Petroleum received among...

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