Iowa Gas 2016!!!
The 30th Iowa Gas Swap Meet August 2-5, 2016
On the road again! I don't want to fool anyone - I really don't do much traveling but barely a week after the last Morphy Auction 400 miles to the east I'm headed 650 miles due west to attend my favorite Gas & Oil Show, Iowa Gas. I think I could find the place blindfolded, having stayed at this same hotel now well over 20 times! Every year they make some new improvements. This year, as I entered a well familiar lobby I noticed the lobby size has exploded into a very large sports type bar with huge flat screen TVs, ample seating and tons of open room to socialize. How cool is that!
This year, trying to curtail some early vending as some brave souls were getting there on Monday, even Sunday...they tried some schedule changes with so-so results. Vendors were allowed set up only on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning until the new mid week auction started around noon on Wednesday. The auction ran until Wednesday about 7 PM that night but quickly found people getting into the room to room event. Vendors were allowed then to vend on Wednesday night inside and outside with some success, I noticed, but again the room to room won the rest of that day. Thursday morning saw the full swing of the show but to my surprise the show was winding down by Thursday afternoon with many leaving early that day.
It was hot, reaching 96 degrees on Thursday with high humidity and not much cooler the day before. Walking outside was honestly like walking right into an oven, taking your breath away. Being an inside vendor was great - sorry guys. Nonetheless, I spent much time outside trying to scrape up some good deals as well as completing numerous deliveries and other appointments I needed to attend to. But if the heat was too much, there was still plenty to see inside between the new huge exhibition hall and the room to room.
There were some great gas globes, great pumps, cans and signs and too many other antiques to mention here! We saw several new discoveries of signs, gas globes, cans and maps among other items. A rare, good condition Husky porcelain die cut sign brought $24,000 in a room showing. One of the coolest signs I've ever seen was a very large Goodrich Silvertown Stores sign in near mint condition with an asking price, I believe, of around $6,800. I saw an awesome Waggoners 3Ds Products porcelain sign with Steer inside at a vendor's booth no price posted, cool sign. I found a rare Crown Gasoline on 15” metal single - most are 16.5” and a new discovery of an unusual Sohio Red Crown on 15” metal - a keeper. A dead mint Mohawk Gasoline with Indian metal frame globe was sitting in the shade on the back row - that one we took home. The only known Bartles & Sweeney one piece etched globe was sold by a long time friend of mine from Chicago for around two grand or so and lucky buyer, Bryce Gillespie pounced on that one! A really cool pair of Elreco 14” blue inserts (never seen before) brought around $650 - very pretty inserts. Congrats Tommy Jones! We believe all super rare 14” inserts date to the early 1930s and were made by Solar Electric Company of Chicago. Wayne Henderson made fun of me because I brought home a mint Atlantic Imperial on Gill, a common globe but I wanted it to go with my mint Atlantic Premium on Gill. Yes they are common but I've always liked those two globes! Plus, I didn't see much in the way of keepers there this year for me. That globe and the Sohio Red Crown 15” metal rare version were all I brought home to keep. Two super rare Kanotex one piece globes were offered around $20,000 for the pair, numerous ripples were available, a green crown in great shape sold for $2,100 and two rare early Standard “Gasoline” Crowns were offered each at $4250. Signs were everywhere as well as cans and gas pumps. A great rare Royaline Gasoline 30” porcelain in good shape was offered at $20,000. A great condition Valvoline Pennsylvania Gasoline porcelain had a sticker price of $4,600, I think it was, and a Deep Rock with bracket went for $6,000 in good shape. A six foot Texaco sign brought $800 and a rare Bowser visible was traded in the $2,200 range. We saw lots of unrestored gas pumps and a few restored ones too from common 1950s to early pre-visibles, visibles, clock face, Duplex and Simplex pumps and many more. There were hundreds of signs there and just about any gas pump you could imagine. Check out all the photos we have.
You like country store, soda pop, architectural? One vendor had really cool numerous salesman sample stoves over 100 years old all in great condition. Many early working car and engine models, old weather vanes, etc. Porcelain pump plates were everywhere. It was all there.
I spoke with Ron Hoyt today, one of the show promoters and he told me expect some changes for next year! The most exciting is the hotel has informed him they will be replacing all the tree lawns off to the left area there, as you face the hotel, with pavement for lots more vendor spaces and parking. They have not made a decision yet on the actual schedule of event that would include the auction but they are aware of the comments people have made or suggested and will take all that into consideration for a great event next year.
I hope you enjoy all the photos. As you can see there was something for everyone there. PCM would like to thank Ron Bettin for taking time to capture this event with his camera and sharing it all with you. If you are a collector, you should consider attending this event every year. It's a ton of fun!