Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds
  • The Fedora Lounge is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

Old gas stations

Messages
16,976
Location
New York City
View attachment 583600
Maybe not exactly the right thread to share this, but seemed close enough. Had some good luck at a storage unit auction recently and brought this home without breaking the bank. Someone's used it for target practice at some point, but personally I think that adds to it's charm. It has a manufacturer's date of Aug of 1945.

That's a great find - enjoy. I'm betting @LizzieMaine can add some background color to the sign.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
33,258
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
I was born under that sign.

That fit into the famous "banjo pole," created by the prominent industrial designer Walter Derwin Teague in 1934, and remained standard-issue for Texaco stations into the late 1960s, when it was phased out in favor of the "hexagon" logo, which was supposed to be easier to read from highways. But many stations kept this version in use until the mass conversion of Texaco stations to the red-and-grey color scheme in the early eighties. You'll still find the poles, though, outside former Texaco stations converted to body shops, small-engine-repair shops, or other applications, usually with the logo painted over with something else. Probably the most ubiquitous roadside logo of the mid-twentieth century.

texaco-sign1.jpg

The "banjo pole" in situ, outside a garage converted to a bar.

Several other companies adopted "banjo poles" of their own after the Texaco version caught on -- Gulf and Tydol the most notable examples.
 
Messages
10,721
Location
My mother's basement

Maybe not exactly the right thread to share this, but seemed close enough. Had some good luck at a storage unit auction recently and brought this home without breaking the bank. Someone's used it for target practice at some point, but personally I think that adds to it's charm. It has a manufacturer's date of Aug of 1945.
Was the sign visible when the storage unit was opened?

There’s precious little reality in reality television, as ought be apparent to most any competent person over age 12 or so who sat through more than a few minutes of Storage Wars and similar works of fiction. Having close familiarity with people in the antique/vintage/secondhand business, both now and in years past, I can’t help but snort at the prices suggested the contents of those storage units would fetch on resale. There is money to be made in the old-stuff enterprise, but it involves a whole lot more time and effort than most people would ever invest. As Ringo put it, it don’t come easy.

That sign is quite the score, though. It’s among the more highly sought-after these days, such that there are untold numbers of reproductions (“fakes” might be a better description) being offered for sale as originals.

Its popularity is understandable. It’s a great design, and all but ubiquitous in its day. I’d love to have an original myself, but I wouldn’t pay anything approaching what most sellers expect to get for them.

We’re of the same mind as to the desirability of signs (among other things) in less than pristine condition. It’s good for guys like us that stuff showing signs of actually having been used for their intended purposes can be had for small fractions of what “cleaner” examples bring. If I owned a NOS example of that sign, I’d probably sell it, seeing how I’d fear damaging it in any way.
 
Last edited:
Messages
10,721
Location
My mother's basement
I’d guess the photo to be from the 1960s, although the hot rods predate that. Looks like the club got together for a bit of motoring.
Those strings of brightly colored plastic pennants were banned by municipal code in a city where I once resided. I still find that more amusing than troubling. Gaudy? You bet! That’s the point! I may go in search of some myself, to put up in the backyard during the summer.

IMG_0116.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Messages
13,655
Location
down south
I’d guess the photo to be from the 1960s, although the hot rods predate that. Looks like the club got together for a bit of motoring.
Those strings of brightly colored plastic pennants were banned by municipal code in a city where I once resided. I still find that more amusing than troubling. Gaudy? You bet! That’s the point! I may go in search of some myself, to put up in the backyard during the summer.

View attachment 598937
It's been a long lot of years since I last saw strings of flags like that. They used to be a staple of used car lots and grand openings of anything. I don't know if they were banned around here or just fell out of favor.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
107,728
Messages
3,045,617
Members
53,067
Latest member
Malory
Top