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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Country Americana Sale at Garth'sMaine Antique Digest, November 17th
Drawing from an extremely active market for petroliana, a single-sided “Gasoline” sign in blue paint with white letters and black trim, 16" x 86", sold for $3290. Other signs turned heads for their whimsical nature, including a 30½" x 23" example...Read more
Mantiques fit for a caveFort Wayne Journal Gazette, November 17th
We deal in train memorabilia – the Erie & Wabash Railroad is a big draw – and petroliana. Stuff like that doesn't last long around here.” Yes, agrees Pat Somers in sales at Village Antiques in Pierceton and owner of Fort Wayne-based Upper Maumee Valley ...Read more
'American Pickers' discovers 'Tough Texas' on History ChannelExaminer.com, November 14th
Old gasoline pumps, and other petroliana items were hard for him to part with, but Mike managed to get the top of a visible gasoline pump that used glass plates to advertise their logo. Frank managed to get a Honda dirt bike that needed work, and got...Read more
Rare antique Pepsin Gum tin dispenser and fortune teller coin-op brings $57000 ...EcommWire (press release), November 11th
Specific categories for which Showtime Auction Services has become renowned in the industry include petroliana (gas station collectibles) and automobilia, salesmen's samples, general store and country store, match safes, advertising signs, trays, cast...Read more