Before disposable metal, paper, and plastic engine-oil containers became commonplace, drivers pulling into gas stations and asking for oil often had to watch and wait as the lubricant was hand pumped from a drum into a spouted glass bottle. Sometimes the oil would be waiting in quart bottles that sat in special racks. Either way, back in that golden full-service era, the attendant would pour the oil into the car's engine for the customer.

Assuring motorists that the oil in those drums was really as advertising and not just some inferior-quality substitute, oil companies embossed their names and logos on the sides of these clear bottles. Sometimes they were given distinctive shapes to make the customer feel better about the bulk-oil purchase. Mobil Oil went so far as to to make diamond-shaped “Filpruf” bottles, with embossed gargoyles on their sides. The metal spouts of these bottles were the Filpruf parts, because they could only be filled with a corresponding nozzle attached to a drum of Mobiloil.

Collectors look for these embossed bottles, the metal spouts, and even the racks they sat in. A side interest for serious petroliana fans are the salesmen samples and briefcases these bottles were carried in. Sample bottles are typically tall and narrow, almost like test tubes, so lots of them could fit into a portfolio. They were also clear, so prospective customers could see the differences in color between the different types of oil at a glance. Companies such as Illinois Glass made these bottles, which had paper labels on their sides and cork stoppers to keep the liquid inside.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Primarily Petroliana

Primarily Petroliana

Jim Potts’ site for petroliana collectors, featuring image galleries and community features such as a discussion … [read review or visit site]

Historic Glass Bottle Identification

Historic Glass Bottle Identification

Bill Lindsey's fantastic bottle identification and information site. Loaded with detailed descriptions and diagrams… [read review or visit site]

Petroliana.co.uk

Petroliana.co.uk

Alan Chandler’s impressive collection of early British and European petroliana, including galleries with beautifu… [read review or visit site]

Antique Bottle Collector's Haven

Antique Bottle Collector's Haven

There's a ton of information here, but as with bottles, you have to dig to find the best stuff. Start with the famo… [read review or visit site]

Bottle Cap Index

Bottle Cap Index

Assembled by Gunther Rademacher with the help of several other contributors, this collection of over half a million… [read review or visit site]

Petromobilia Switzerland

Petromobilia Switzerland

Alex Wyler’s site is mostly in German, but the collection and images speak for themselves. You’ll find old gas … [read review or visit site]

Plopsite.de

Plopsite.de

Norbert Lamping's collection of 600+ ceramic bottle stoppers, Hutter stoppers, swingtops, swivel stoppers, and ligh… [read review or visit site]

Falvo Collectables Gallery

Falvo Collectables Gallery

Ralph and Carol Falvo's excellent collection of automobiles, petroliana, jukeboxes, soda, and general store items. … [read review or visit site]

Old Spice Collectibles

Old Spice Collectibles

Lather up with Creighton Fricek's complete chronology of collectible Old Spice shaving products. Start with the bot… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Glass Castrol Wakefield 1 Pint Oil Bottle & Tin Mobil Oil A Pourer Top!Vtg Gargoyle Mobiloil Oil Bottle Spout Complete Cap Spout Gasket Btl Vacuum OldBears Oil Open Tubular Pontil Mint Flared Lip! Antique Bottle Beautiful *1850sSunoco 30 Sae Motor Oil Vintage Glass Quart Duraglas Bottle & Spout Original 6Original Mobiloil Oil Rack Lubester 8" Porcelain Sign Bottle Stand Holder MobilTexaco Airplane Die Cast Crop Chevron Air Express Motor Oil Gas Sign Mobil EssoSunoco Motor Oil Vintage Glass Quart H.m. Co. Bottle, Spout, Cap, Original 7Winchester Glass Oil Bottle Ford Mustang Emblem Hood Ornament Desk Sign Pony Shelby Boss Truck Mobil TexacoOk Used Cars Authorized Dealer Chevrolet Lighted Sign Led Chevy Gm VintageFord Mustang Emblem Hood Ornament Desk Sign Pony Shelby Boss Truck Mobil Texaco2 Vintage Gas Station Oil Bottles Bottle Mass Seal 1 Quart Size W/tin SpoutVintage Sunoco Glass Motor Oil Bottle W/ Metal Lid Nice LookEarly C.1915 "whiz Nugloss" Auto Motor Car Oil Wax Advertising Bottle Sign UsaC.1920 "kleanall" Motor Car Oil Wax Advertising Bottle Tin Sign Hamilton CanadaDl Vtg Mobiloil Arctic Filpruf Oil Bottle Rack Tin Sign Mobil Gas StationVintage 1920's Gargoyle Mobiloil "af" Motor Oil Bottle Spout Not Porcelain SignVintage 8 Hole Oil Bottle Or Milk Carrier Crate Jar Rack Milkman Gas Station #3Neon Style Historic Route 66 Street Sign Chevy Usa Ford Motorcycle Truck TexacoEarly C.1925 "effecto Auto" Motor Car Oil Enamel Advertising Bottle Tin Can SignVintage Gas Service Station Motor Oil 1qt Glass Bottle & Master Pour Spout 1926Embossed Arcade Arrow Sign Carnival Video Games Theater Exit Highway Mobil GamesFord Mustang Emblem Hood Ornament Desk Sign Pony Shelby Boss Truck Mobil TexacoNear Mint 1940s Wwii Vintage Mobil Radiator Flush Old 1qt Oil Glass Bottle ~ CanEmbossed Arcade Arrow Sign Carnival Video Games Theater Exit Highway Mobil GamesVintage 1940's Texaco Outboard Motor Oil Green Glass Bottle Can Early C.1915 "many Use Spray" Auto Motor Car Oil Wax Advertising Bottle Sign UsaTexaco Airplane Die Cast Crop Chevron Air Express Motor Oil Gas Sign Mobil EssoEmbossed Arcade Arrow Sign Carnival Video Games Theater Exit Highway Mobil GamesEmbossed Chevron Gas Sign Pump Petroleum Motor Oil Texaco Sinclair Mobil Can 2 Sided Chevrolet Service Flange Sign Garage Chevy Truck Corvette Shop Car MobilVintage One Quart Master Mfg Co. Motor Oil Bottle With Masters Spout + CapSet Of 8 Oil Bottles And CarrierGlass And Metal Standard Oil Company Motor Oil BottleVintage Coca Cola Wall Mount Bottle Opener With Cap Catch Box Vintage Phillip's 66 Household Oil Bottle Tin Can Handy Oiler 4oz. EmptyNeon Style Historic Route 66 Street Sign Chevy Usa Ford Motorcycle Truck TexacoEmbossed Soda Shop Metal Sign Restaurant Cafe Cola Coffee 7 Up Orange Crush CokeVintage Kendall Motor Oil BottleNeon Style Historic Route 66 Street Sign Chevy Usa Ford Motorcycle Truck TexacoVintage Motor Oil Glass Bottle With Metal SpoutNeon Style Historic Route 66 Street Sign Chevy Usa Ford Motorcycle Truck Texaco1930s Gas Station 1 Qt Glass Oil Bottle With Master Metal SpoutVtg Salesman Sample Small Fiendoil Devil Oil Bottle Advertising Gun CleaningBottle, Gulf Electric Motor Oil, 1/2 Full, VintageEmbossed Arcade Arrow Sign Carnival Video Games Theater Exit Highway Mobil GamesSolid Brass Outdoor Edc Keychain Oil Lighter Fuel Canister Bottle Thomas A Edison Special Battery Oil Orange N.j. Aqua Bottle Hand Finished MouthNice Original Hep "imperial" Refinery Glass Quart Oil BottleTiolene Oil Bottle Minty From 20's Large Glass Bottle Vintage Tops Upper Lube Motor Oil BottleWwi Era British Lee Enfield Smle Oil Bottle OilerNeon Style Historic Route 66 Street Sign Chevy Usa Ford Motorcycle Truck TexacoAntique Green 3 In One 3 In 1 Glass Triangular Shaped Oil Bottle Sample MiniEmbossed Arcade Arrow Sign Carnival Video Games Theater Exit Highway Mobil GamesSet Of 3 Glass Oil Bottles With Master Metal Top And CapsAntique-vintage "tiolene Motor Oil" Tall Glass Motor Oil Bottle W/bubbles-(rare)2 Sided Chevrolet Service Flange Sign Garage Chevy Truck Corvette Shop Car MobilEmbossed Arcade Arrow Sign Carnival Video Games Theater Exit Highway Mobil GamesVintage Collection Fly Dressing Reel Oil Tins Bottles Misc