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Harold Crofton Sleigh was born on 19th of May 1867 in Bristol, England.


He left for Australia in 1888 and became involved in barge traffic on the rivers Murray & Darling.

Sleigh owned the steamer Emu in 1891 & Ethel Jackson from Bourke, NSW.

Around 1893 he began working for Harold Brothers, ship brokers & owners of Melbourne, and while with that company he privately tendered for a contract in which his employers were interested.

He won the contract, which was to carry coal from Newcastle, NSW for the Western Australian Government Railways for two years.

Over the next period of time Sleigh was involved in shipping to New Zealand, South Africa and elsewhere.

Sleigh started in the petroleum trade in 1913, when a customer was unable to pay freight on a shipment of Californian motor spirit & the company took possession of the consignment.

In 1917 he registered the trade name ” Golden Fleece” for “illuminating, heating and lubricating oils, including petrol, benzine and kerosene.”

He got a Californian oil company to supply 4-gallon tins of motor spirit, branded “Golden Fleece”

By 1923 shipments of the motor spirit were arriving monthly.


In 1919 the company had an outlet at 2 Bridge Street, Sydney selling “Summit” lubricating oils & ” Golden Fleece” gasoline. By 1923 they had premises at 228 – 230 Prime Street, Adelaide, and a bulk storage depot at Albert Park.

Sleigh was attributed to opening the first single brand service station in Melbourne in the late 1920’s

The “Hanging Ram” logo was one of the Golden Fleece’s first and these two examples are in very good condition for age being nearly 100 years old and are deemed to be the country’s most desirable oil bottles.

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