Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
It was founded in the early twentieth century in New York City by five brothers: Henry, Irving, Robert, Benjamin, and Arnold Schwartz. The brothers, and their sister Bess, were first-generation Americans; their parents were Jewish immigrants from the town of Belaya Tserkov , near Kiev, today located in the Ukraine. Their father Sam was a blacksmith, and relatives back in the Ukraine had been involved in the whale oil business; the combination of these factors led to the brothers experimenting with building the first oil heaters designed for residential buildings.
Paragon Oil was primarily a fuel oil distribution business, operating a fleet of trucks around the Northeastern United States. It continued in operation until the late 1950's, and then was sold to Texaco, with the sale becoming final in the early 1960's. Most of the brothers used the profits from the sale to found the Brookdale Foundation , and to endow other charitable enterprises, primarily centered in the New York metropolitan area.
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