The Roaring Twenties
Roxana Petroleum was replaced with the more widely known Shell Oil name. Shell’s midwestern headquarters moved into the Shell Building in downtown St. Louis. Automobile usage grew rapidly and to meet the demand new refining processes were developed to convert heavier compounds in crude oil into gasoline. Shell gambled on a thermal cracking process patented by C. P. (Carbon Petroleum) Dubbs with the very first two Dubbs Units being built at WRR in 1921. After initial difficulties with Dubbs Unit no. 1 (including an explosion),the process proved successful and six additional units were constructed. An asphalt plant was started up. Refinery capacity in 1921 was 45,000 barrels per day.