Antique Gas Pumps and More: Part 1

It was a week after our trip to Niagara Falls. My husband was ready to hit the road again. He planned to buy a few items from an extensive collection in Pennsylvania. I thought it would be interesting to see, so decided to ride along.  With so many places to go in that area, we planned for a two-day trip again.

We stopped at the Hagerstown warehouse first, to make sure everything was going smoothly with the loading of a sea container. From there we drove to our first stop, about 2 hours up the road.

Lloyd was after some pinballs to buy. The games were stored in a building that was originally built by the owner for his business, but now was a home for his collection. Lloyd worked out a deal with our host, Bill, for 3 Gottlieb wedgehead pinballs, a Captain Fantastic Pinball and a Golden Eye pin.pins

Lloyd also purchased a bus station sign and a Monster Gun shooting game.

Bus stop

shooting game

That was a good start to Lloyd’s day of buying. The fun part about this stop for me, and for Lloyd too, was getting to see some unusual and beautifully restored collectibles. Bill had an incredible group of antique gas pumps. He has personally restored many of them and keeps photos of the restoration process on some of them.

He explained to me how brittle the decorative trim of one gas pump had been. Bill said that the trim would disintegrate when he tried to sand blast it. Fortunately he found the exact same pattern of trim in a catalog of antique tin ceiling reproductions from the same time period. He ordered it, cut it, and painted it for the gas pump. Voila! It looks beautiful. Here is a close up of the trim.Pump trim Here is the entire pump.

scallop pump

Bill described to me how he used two unrestored pumps of the same kind to get all the parts he needed to make the one restored pump above, and showed me the pictures of how they looked at the beginning.

Photos of processI wondered aloud how the gas station owners kept people from stealing gas at night when the station was closed, in an age before video camera surveillance. He showed me how each pump had a small door in the side that would open with a key to put the nozzle inside for the night.  Then the owner would close the door and lock it with the nozzle tight inside.

Lloyd told me that Bill had one of the best vintage gas pump collections anywhere. These restored machines are something to see! They are complemented by automotive advertising, oil bottles, and air pumps.



gas pumps 1

gas pumps 2gas pumps 3

motor oil

Above is an example from Bill’s collection of how oil was sold in “the old days”.

In doing a little research about the history of gas pumps, I found this at

“Side note about oil, and how you put it in your car…

DSCN6132l.jpg lube_004.jpgpollyoil.jpg

We are familiar with the convenient oil can or quart sized bottle we easily pour into our automobiles. Life was not always so convenient! It used to be oil was held in a large container and had to be pumped into glass quart size bottles to pour the oil into your car. A lot of manual labor was involved in your car use. ”

Did you know that there is a term for all of these items surrounding the fueling and care of the automobile? Well, I didn’t until I saw this book called The Fine Art of Collecting and Displaying Petroliana. Here is a link to this book. It is on the website for Gas Pump Heaven, which looks like a helpful site for someone who is trying to restore a vintage pump.

Bill has a lot of “petroliana”!Gas pumps8

Air pumps

That’s not all he has. There was a cool Coca-Cola Hot Dog Grill Bar

Coca-Cola Hot Dog Grill

There is a great description of this Victor Coca-Cola Kooler Grill at RetroPlanetMuseum. This is really rare!

Bill Likes vintage soda vendors also. He has them all lined up.Soda Machines

He has a an antique bicycle that has a built-in radio. It is called a Huffy Radiobike

Radio Bike


I never knew such a thing had existed, but if you would like to learn more about this bike, then click here : .

Bill had restored vintage pedal cars on display, as well as display cases of small collectibles such as pez dispensers, and even a small corner devoted to barbershop memorabilia.


We had to head down the road, and so we regretfully thanked Bill for the business and the  tour and hopped into our truck to get our purchases back to Hagerstown.



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