Petroliana, or antiques related to gas stations and the oil business, is a collecting area focused on advertising, with key subcategories being gas pumps, gas pump globes, oil cans, road maps, signs, and major names like Mobil, Texaco, Standard Oil, Phillips 66, Shell, Sinclair, and Esso.
In the early days of automobile travel, service stations were unfamiliar and often poorly lit at night. So lighted gas pump globes and other oil company signage were key to reassuring and drawing in motorists. And since pumping gas was a new experience, early pumps allowed motorists to see if the gasoline was clean (through a small glass window), and later to watch the price as the gas was pumped (a major innovation).
Collectors also seek items associated with regional oil company brands like Signal, Gilmore, and Wilshire. Not to mention an endless variety of giveaway promotional items like ice scrapers and plastic 'lollipop' thermometers featuring the names of these bygone oil and gas companies and service stations.
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Museum of Gasoline Pumps an homage to a fatherMiamiHerald.com, August 16th
“You can have 4,000 signs,” he said, a quick head nod left and right to walls covered floor-to-ceiling with what collectors call petroliana, “but if you don't got a place to display 'em, you just gotta garage full of junk.” Junk? At the Mendenhall...Read more
Collection celebrates gas stationsColumbus Dispatch, August 10th
Mendenhall's Museum of Gasoline Pumps & Petroliana is a sentimental trip back for anyone who remembers when gas prices were less than $2 and customers were greeted by attendants who promised “service with a smile,” not automated pumps with ...Read more
Swap meet features 'petroliana' and other collectiblesRadio Iowa, July 30th
These types of collectibles that revolve around gas and oil are called “petroliana” and while you might find an antique oil can for five dollars, other items are much more pricey. He says, “There is a two-sided Lincoln-Mercury neon dealer sign, the...Read more