We Have No Idea What’s Out There!
You know if we all knew what was out there yet to find in terms of collecting gas and oil stuff, items that would fall into the categories of gas globes, signs, pumps, maps, cans, etc., the hobby would still be interesting. Because you would still have to discover all the items you wanted to collect, from the common to the rare. Depending on the company, that may take a while, a lifetime, or that may be impossible. But, we really don’t know what’s out there, and we will never know all the gas globes that were made, all the variations of maps, cans, signs, pumps and other that companies created to advertise their brands and products.
Wayne Henderson tells me week after week, “We have no idea what’s out there.” I’ve mentioned this before several times and when I first heard this from him many years ago I really felt he was being too tough on himself and me. Didn’t we know what was out there? Didn’t we at least know a lot of it or even most of it? Now add a couple gas pump experts, a couple can experts, a couple map and sign experts, and my knowledge with gas globes, stick us in a room for a week and I thought we could come up with nearly everything that was known. Well we could probably do pretty good, until a week or month goes by and the other variations are discovered. When I look at my knowledge of gas globes in the 1980s I thought it was fairly good. Ten years later I realized I had missed a lot. When I look back just the last ten years I realize how much I didn’t know back then. And this goes on and on. It’s the nature of the beast and the beast keeps changing and no one can keep up with it.
Wayne sent me an old photo recently and asked, “What’s wrong with this Amoco Gas Station photo?” He was dumbfounded on what appeared in the photo but wanted my opinion. I quickly saw a wide frame three piece glass Amoco gas globe sitting on a pump. Wayne said, “There are no wide glass Amoco globes with notches! I grew up with these stations and artifacts.” Well, yes there is. Neither of us had ever seen one. We did have one listed in the old gas globe book but never confirmed it and had decided to pull it out when the new Gas Globe CD comes out. So now it will stay!
Then he sent me a photo of a diamond shaped metal frame globe with glass panels that says, “Sunoco Gas.” Oh my gosh! Sunoco had few metal frame globes that were different. But when we saw this one in an old photo Wayne calmly repeated his famous line, “We have no….” So here we have two major brands with new discoveries in the past week! We wondered if any of these gas globes survived.
Though new discoveries like this keep the hobby so fascinating, just the fact that we’ll never know what all was made, by any brand for that matter, makes it even more interesting.
Then there are the items that don’t make any sense, or are so rare that we don’t even care if they make sense, we just hope we are the one who finds it first! In the 13 years since the last globe books were made we have seen nearly a 1,000 new globes discoveries! That is an amazing number. If someone told me in 1999 when we released that two volume set, which at that time we felt was mostly complete, that there were a 1,000 globes we didn’t include and had never seen I would have laughed at them and called them a liar. But I would be wrong. And yes, 13 years from now there will be many more globes found we didn’t know about. There will be hundreds of maps, cans, signs, and many gas pumps found we had no idea ever existed. That’s what keeps the hobby coming back for more.
You think you have a nearly complete collection of Texaco signs? You don’t. Have all the Amoco globes? No, you don’t. I thought I was getting close, within ten globes or so, on a near complete Sinclair gas globe collection. Though I knew it would be impossible to get all of them, since several are known only in old photos, I seemed to be narrowing in. But several new discoveries have pushed me back. I’m about 20 behind now and I know I won’t even come close to ever getting them all. Think you have all the Gill frame globe ripple colors? Sorry, you probably don’t have the brown one or the teal colored one unless you’re the one person who owns these.
I’m having an unusual Correct Measure Pipe Organ gas pump restored right now. When it’s finished I’ll get some photos in the magazine. I’ve spoken to many pump experts and I don’t know anyone who has seen one like this one…but, I only own two pumps. What the heck, what would a hobby be without a challenge?
The rare, the unusual, the unique, the unexplained, the missing piece, are all part of this amazing hobby. Check out a few photos we posted here and what makes them so unusual. You could write a book just on this subject with thousands of photos!
You like ad panels for gas pumps? I really like them and have several brands, but mainly only collect ones I have globes to match. Check out the “Shell of the Future” one I picked up years ago in a large Shell collection. Anyone ever see this one? There has to be more out there though this one was from a dual pump. I’ve seen several in collections that may be unique. I have a couple Sinclair ad panels that appear to be the only ones known, for now, like the Hi Test H-C and the Sinclair H-C with the interlocking logo. Wayne and I also say, “They never made just one.” So many of these unique pieces will have a mate someday.
Take any popular gas pump and try to figure out how many variations exist. Handles that went on the right, on the left, site glass on the right, air operated, electric, etc. I’ve seen seven, eight, and twelve gallon gas pumps. Which ones have you seen?
Oil cans could drive anyone crazy! Getting into the variations there, just on the quart cans alone, would be mind boggling. There must be countless thousands out there. Good luck guys on that one.
So enjoy our ever expanding hobby because just when you think you’ve completed a collection of something, you most likely will learn that you haven’t!