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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Recent News: Petroliana
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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
Smart Collector: Vintage postcards still sellArizona Daily Star, July 26th
As example, petroliana or automobile collectors hunt for scenes of old gas stations. About selling: It boils down to a matter of stamina. After being a smart collector and separating the cards by significance, are you willing to post better sellers...Read more
Discoveries: Mendenhall Museum of Gasoline Pumps & PetrolianaSacramento Bee, July 26th
“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
On the Road: Vintage two-wheelers offer a ride through timeDriving, July 18th
A massive collection of petroliana and automobilia, it's worth the price of admission alone. “Gasoline Alley is a diamond in our treasure chest,” Heritage Park's Morris says, and adds, “Riding Through Time is a new gem in the chest.” For more...Read more
Private viewProspect, July 12th
There was even a show on the theme of oil—”Petroliana.” These were the kind of critical works exhibited by collector Marat Guelman, whose gallery was recently ransacked by Putin's heavies. Our trip was funded by a new company, backed by a group of ...Read more