Hoosier Coal & Oil, founded in 1917, used the above-pictured telephone index as an advertisement in the early 1960’s, and eventually copyrighted the index in 1965. The index included not only numerous references to Hoosier Coal & Oil’s contact information and quality fuel, but also useful household advice such as, “Oil Heating Hints,” “Public Warning Signals,” “Precautions Against Tornadoes – Strong Winds,” First Aid,” counterdoses for the ingestion of poison or overdoses of certain drugs, kitchen measurements and conversions, a “Transcontinental Mileage Chart,” information on the value of Social Security Benefits, and the caloric values of some common foods. It was much more than a telephone index in many ways!
A late 1970’s article indicates the company sponsored an award as part of the Indy 500 – the “Almost Made It” Award, a trophy and $2,000 prize given to the “driver left waiting next in line when time trials expire.” After the popularity of heating devices that did not require fuel oil, Hoosier Coal & Oil seemed to be also waiting last in line, and was acquired by Dynamic Energy Group of Atlanta and Louisville in August or September of 1980. Its building at 1300 E. 30th Street still stands, though it looks long abandoned and forgotten.
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