It can hardly have escaped your notice that Shell is leaving The Hague . If we are to believe the latest gossip, only the top of the company goes to London and the employees just stay here in The Hague. We’ll have to see if that’s really true, of course. Anyway, from now on Shell will lose its royal glow.

We thought it was a good time to delve into the history of Shell in The Hague. The royal part of Shell already started in 751. The first office of De Koninklijke (a Dutch oil company) was the residence of the director, Mr JA van Gelder. With government support, this company drilled for oil in Sumatra.

How did Shell originate?

Meanwhile in London two brothers were busy setting up a seashell trade, but they soon saw that the oil trade had more future. This is how Shell came into being (shell

is translated into Dutch as shell). In 1920 Koninklijke Olie and Shell started working together. There were two head offices; in London and in The Hague. The office in The Hague was the most important at the time. The first office, on the van Bylandtlaan, is still there today. Do you recognize it?

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Photo: The Hague Municipal Archives

Gas station

Over the years, the director from The Hague has taken over more and more oil companies. His goal was to be in control of the entire process, from extracting oil to selling oil. In the meantime, more and more people had a car, those people still had to get their petrol at the pharmacy.

In 1920 became the first gas pump of Shell opened in Zeist. It took a while before a real gas station was opened in The Hague. This gas station from 1920 stood in the middle of the square at Torenstraat.

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eerst tankstation van shelleerst tankstation van shell
Photo: The Hague Municipal Archives

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