My son, Jaren and I left Monday noon for our annual trek to our favorite gas and oil show, Iowa Gas, stopping about two thirds the way in Peru, Illinois, to break up our trip. We’ve done this venture the same way three or four years in a row now as opposed to an 11 hour drive all in one day. In the morning we always stop at the Peru Antique Mall and bring something home, even if it’s not gas and oil related. But I had made an error this trip, one, which next year, I will not repeat. I should have left Sunday and arrived Monday night!
We arrived at the Iowa Gas show mid afternoon Tuesday, several hours into a nearly full running show! Now last year getting there at 2 P.M. was just fine on Tuesday with only a couple vendors set up and virtually no one in the ballroom displaying their wares. But this year the show started Tuesday AM and I was nearly the last vendor set up inside on Tuesday afternoon. How could I have gone astray? It must have been a leap show, sort of like a leap year, where some day is pushed backwards yet I wasn’t informed! The temperature was a very unusual cool 65-70 degrees unlike last year where it was 98 on the first day, if I remember correctly.
Anyway, we hit the pavement running as they say. We were trying to get our booth set up and trying not to miss any goodies as they were brought out from hiding. People stopped me several times to show me something interesting, like a globe they have that was not in the new Gas Globe CD, or some part of their collection they just wanted to share. We appreciate the many that came forward and we probably added at least a dozen new globes either found at the show or in pictures shown to me during the show. New sign discoveries were also very abundant this year at Iowa Gas.
A rare Valvoline one piece etched was luckily grabbed up earlier by my good friend, Lonnie Hop for us to sell. Thanks Lonnie, as I would have missed that one getting there too late. He also found several good globes Monday night in the room to room. Do I need to leave on Saturday next year?
Tuesday then, was a crazy, busy day. No time to settle in as the show was at full steam by the afternoon. We did finally set up inside the ballroom with my son helping there as I was running around trying to keep up with the rest. Tuesday night was a good room to room as usual with many vendors opening up their rooms with more goodies to buy! Several rooms were filled with everything the hobby has to offer, yes, even gas pumps! I picked up a rare Guinn Regular globe with all plastic inserts for $225. I’ve never seen this globe before. There were lots of cans, tons of signs and maps, many great porcelain pumps plates, ad panels, posters, banners, lots of neon, you name it, it was all there.
There were so many gas pumps this year so please enjoy all the photos. We picked up a nice Correct Measure pipe organ gas pump from a friend. An early G&B curb pump brought around $1300 on the first day. We saw a nice National Simplex for $6500, a National Duplex, no price, several good clock-face pumps restored and unrestored. We saw dozens and dozens of pumps from common 1950s pumps for $500 to $800 to rare five and ten gallon visibles for several thousand each. A rare Dart visible showed up, no asking price, two early Tokheim 1902 curb pumps around $1200 each with domed glass and two scarce National Visibowls, no prices shown.
What I liked about the show this year was if you went there to pick up a nice pump, from the early 1900s to a later 1950s model, you would definitely find it there!
Wendell Sagendorf showed me a very rare Arrow 66 porcelain sign we’ve never seen before. Check out all the interesting signs that showed up this year, too. Cans, cans and more cans. I picked up a rare Vortex quart in a room for $60. Vortex is a Hoosier Pete Oil Company brand. I also picked up a rare pair of Sohio Extron ad panels, short version which you never see to go with my Sohio globes. I like to pick up small cheaper items to go along with my globes whether it be a map, can or ad panel. Anything that matches the company is okay with me.
A rare never seen before Wolf’s Head Oils porcelain flange was found in the room to room with an asking price of $750. I must have seen a couple dozen signs I’ve never seen before. Two very rare Pugh globes showed up, the oval, all glass ones with the goofy looking guy on it for $2600 each. In their room, Mike Michelson and Dennis Griffin displayed a rare 22” plus Oroco “Hurry Back Gasoline” insert wrapped in neon. Great piece guys!
Wednesday was the big day with the last couple remaining vendors that had not yet set up finally offering their goods. A super rare Palacine Gas and Oils 15” insert appeared on the field early in the morning. Two rare Crew Levick Cities Service 15” cast inserts showed up from different vendors. One was priced at $1500 and one priced above $2000. These are great inserts! Three Diamond NevRNox one piece etched globes showed up there priced from $1700 to $2500. Three Diamond one piece etched globes also surfaced, priced in the $600 to $1100 range. I picked up a Skelly one piece globe in its original box on the way to the show and it sold for $1100 which is a good deal for someone. There were hundreds of quart and other cans there this year. Some great quart cans sold were very rare like a never seen Lionoyl with Lion pictured for around $300, Rajah quart in the $600 range, Gargoyle quart, gray band, $400, Kunzoil quart with oil drop and winter scene, no price.
All the spaces were filled again this year as well as the huge inside pool area where many vendors displayed their items for sale. Wednesday night was the big room to room with a few more doors open to the public. Thursday by late morning the storm was winding down and by midday most vendors were packing it up getting ready for the Thursday night auction hosted by Matthews Auctions again this year. Check out the final auction prices at matthewsauctions.com.
PCM Magazine handed out 250 free special Iowa Gas August issues this year. We sold many books and CDs and enjoyed meeting the hundreds of people that stopped to say hi. Thank you!
This was the best Iowa Gas Show I can remember in terms of attendance, collectibles being offered, weather and overall fun. Most attendees share this same feeling I’m sure. If you have never attended this show and love this hobby, this is the show to attend. Nowhere will you see so much gas and oil collectibles in one setting and you will bring something home!
Thanks to Ron Hoyt and friends/family, John Logsdon and family and the many others that helped put on this show!
See you there next year!