It’s An Illinois Thing 3.0

Last fall I stumbled onto this scarce metal bodied Illinois Farm Supply Aladdin Service globe. I met the owner at a car show and we got to talking about signs and globes. The owner threw out a take it or leave it price for the globe. It didn’t take me long to decide to buy it. This is the only known example of this globe which dates from the 1930’s.

This 3 piece glass Marvel globe is from the Chicago based W.H. Barber Company. W.H. Barber marketed under the Fyre Drop and Me-tee-or brand names. There are only a few of these Marvel globes in known collections. I’d like to hear from anyone that has any MeTeeOr globes for sale.
boty16 1

An old friend offered me these NPC Red Anti-Knock lenses. National Petroleum Company was based in Chicago. These lenses are extremely rare with only a couple globes known. There is a NPC Regular Gas version I’d like to add to my collection.
boty16 7

I’m fortunate to have been able to add these three incredibly rare Illinois globes to my collection. I had a chance to score another hard to find Illinois globe in an auction, but that one got away. It was an M&M Premium Regular that would have been the mate to the M&M Super Ethyl that I posted in a previous blog entry.

That’s all for now. Please contact me if you have any globes you’d like to sell.

Posted in Auctions, CAPCO, glass body globe, globe, metal body globe

Globe Gallery updated

Several globe images have been added to the Gas Pump Globe Gallery

Posted in Collecting

For Sale Gallery updated!

It finally happened. I’m completely out of room! It seems like every flat surface in my house has gas pump globes sitting on it. Five more globes are due to arrive soon. I’ve been selling some globes and lenses to free up some space. I’ve sold some globes and lenses that I didn’t think I’d ever part with. They’ve been selling quickly. Some globes that I thought might sell quickly, haven’t sold. One of them is a one piece Gulf globe. DSCN1525
It’s got a little wear and a base chip that’s covered by the collar. It’s priced to sell at $895 + shipping. Someone is going to kick themselves for passing up this deal.

Another globe that I thought would sell quickly is a scarce one piece Pan Am globe. DSCN1523
Pan Am was a Standard Oil Company (Indiana) affiliate that was based in New Orleans. There are only one or two of this late 1920’s era globe known to exist. This is the globe pictured on the globe CD for $2500.It’s priced to sell at $2050 + shipping.

Check out these and other items I have for sale in the For Sale Gallery.

Posted in 1 pc globe, glass body globe, globe Tagged , , , , , |

Odd size Capcolite globe body

Several years ago I bought a globe on ebay that had gill lenses mounted in a modified yellow capco body. It’s a fairly common practice to cut the alignment tabs out of a repro capco body and sand the mating surfaces of the body so the body will 13 1/4″ unnotched Gill lenses.
I put the lenses on a different body. It turns out the yello body was an original with the alignment tabs cut out. I attempted to mount some 13 1/2″ lenses in the yellow body. They were too big. Then it hit me….the mating surfaces had not been sanded down. This body was made to hold 13 1/4″ notched lenses!

We had a discussion about this on the Shop Talk forum on Globe gurus Lonnie Hop and Scott Benjamin shed a little light on the subject. Lonnie has had several 13 1/4″ Capcolite bodies. His were the old style (male/female) marked Capcolite, and were made of the rigid plastic that was used in the old style Capcolite bodies. Scott posted that Sunray used some notched lenses that fit in the 13 1/4″ bodies.

My 13 1/4″ body was packed away until recently. As it turns it’s marked “Capcolite” like the old style bodies but each half is the same like the newer “Capcolite 216” style bodies. Unlike the ones Lonnie has, this one is made of the more flexible material.

You can see it’s marked “Capcolite”…..
odd capcolite markings
But it’s the newer style……
odd capcolite

Now I need to find a pair of 13 1/4″ lenses that would look good on a yellow body!

Posted in Collecting

Types of Gas Pump Globes

I’ve had people contact me to discuss gas pump globes they’ve found but they’re not familiar with the terminology.

Trying to explain the differences between a one piece baked, 3 piece glass, or Gill body Texaco globe to an 85 year old widow so you can make a fair offer can be an exercise in futility.

Hopefully this tutorial will give folks the knowledge to describe what type of globe they actually have.

We’ll start with One Piece Globes.
These are exactly what the name implies…..globes that are one piece of glass.

One Piece Etched globes have rough areas that were painted. The etching can be very deep to very shallow. The etched areas will have a sand paper like texture. Often times the elements have taken their toll on the paint. That’s not a problem with etched globes as repainting these is an accepted practice in the hobby.
This “Basement” globe is an example of a “One Piece Etched” globe. This is a small globe with a 4″ flanged glass base.
one piece etched
Hopefully the close up will better show the etched areas.
one piece etched close up

One Piece Baked globes were baked after the artwork was applied.
This circa 1928 Sinclair Aircraft globe is a “One Piece Baked” globe. Note the 6″ flanged glass base.
one piece baked

One Piece Cast globes will have a logo that is molded in the glass. These globes often have baked on finish as well.
This Texaco Ethyl is a good example of a “One Piece Cast” globe with a baked on logo. This globe has a 6″ screw on metal base.
one piece cast

One piece globes were generally used in the 1910’s through around 1930. The earliest have a metal “chimney cap” on top. Sorry, I don’t have any chimney cap globes in my collection to share with you….yet.

There are also One Piece Figural globes. Standard crowns, and Shell clams being the most common. These aren’t held in the same regard by most collectors unless they’re the early raised letter crowns or Super Shell or Super Shell Ethyl clams.

Standard of Indiana used a few styles of crowns. The earliest versions had “Gasoline” cast around the lower area. From the mid 1920’s through the early 1930’s they used the familiar style crowns with raised letters around the lower areas that read “Red Crown”, “Red Crown Ethyl”, and “Solite”. These globes will have a 7″ flanged glass base. The Red Crown will have etched details that are painted red. Red Crown Ethyl will be white with red letters or red painted details with white letters. The vast majority of Solite crowns have blue painted details with white letters but we’ve seen red Solite crowns with white letters as well.
Here’s a raised letter Solite crown. You can see the etched areas since the paint has worn off.
figural crown
Note the 7″ flanged base.
figural crown flanged base
In 1932 Standard started using the non-lettered crowns. The most common are red, white, and gold. There were also blue, grey, red & white, red & gold,and green crowns.
Nearly all of these use a 7″ screw on base.
figural crown screw on base
figural crown screw on base detail
A few early non-lettered crowns used a 7″ flanged base.
There were a couple of variations just below the wide lower band. Some have arrows while others have diagonal lines.
If you have a crown that has a 6″ flanged base you have a reproduction.

The following types of globes used glass or sometimes plastic lenses fastened to a metal, glass or plastic body.

Globes are commonly referred to by the diameter of the lenses, NOT the height or diameter of the globe body.

Metal body globes were used from the 1920’s through the 1960’s, but most commonly from the 30’s and 40’s. Metal body globes use snap rings to hold the lenses in the body.
Here’s a 15″ high profile metal body.
metal hi profile
Profile picture of a high profile body.
hi profile metal
And a low profile metal body.
low profile metal
Lenses for metal bodies generally measure 15″ or 16 1/4-16 1/2″ in diameter. That’s measuring flat, not across the contour of the lens. There are other size metal body globes as well. They are quite rare.
Also, most lenses for metal bodies will have a V notch on the inside that aligns with a small bump in the body.
detail of lens for metal body

The next category is 3 piece glass globes. The majority of 3 piece glass globes use 13 1/2″ lenses on a glass body. Some companies used 12 1/2″ wide glass globes, while others used 14″.

Here’s a common glass body. Note the screw holes at 3:00 and 9:00. Brass screws with knurled nuts are used to fasten the glass advertising lenses to the body.
narrow glass
Here’s a profile image of a narrow glass body.
narrow glass profile
And a profile of a wide glass body.
wide glass profile

Sinclair and Richfield used this body. Note the stepped recess.
narrow glass stepped

The next most common type of glass body are Gill bodies. Gill bodies are hollow behind the lenses. The lenses are attached with a metal band that use a screw and special nut to tighten the band. Most Gill globes use 13 1/4″ lenses. Amoco and a few other companies used 13 1/2″ Gill globes. There were 14″ Gills as well.
A sub-category of Gill body globes are “Ripple Gill” or simply “Ripple” bodies. Ripples were available in clear, or with baked on paint on the inside of the globe body. These were available in white, yellow, red, orange, blue, green, teal, and brown. There are color variations of those colors as well. Ripples are highly sought after by collectors. They were made with 6″ flanged glass bases or 6″ screw on metal bases.
gill ripple
gill ripple detail
Gill globes use 13 1/4 or 13 1/2″ lenses that are not notched.
lens for gill

Another type of glass body was made by Hull. Hull bodies are hollow behind the lenses like a Gill, but the lenses are notched and attach with screws like a common glass globe.
Here’s a Hull body.

There’s an unusual type of glass body that uses metal bands that are attached to the body with 4 screws and nuts. These are referred to as Banded Glass bodies by those in the hobby.
banded glass
banded glass detail

There are glass bodies with three mounting holes per side. These are called Ballcrank bodies. The holes are located at 12:00, 4:00 and 8:00. They used lenses with three notches at 12,4, and 8:00, or lenses with 5 notches 12,3,4,8,9:00. Lenses with 5 notches will fit on a Ballcrank or standard glass body. Skelly and Johnson were among the companies that used Ballcrank bodies. I don’t have one to take a picture of.

Glass bodies that hold 13 1/2″ lenses usually have 6″ flanged glass bases. Screw on metal bases were available as well. Some Hull bodies used a crimped on metal base. There were also 7″ flanged and 7″ metal base glass globe bodies.
The wide, narrow, stepped narrow are all being reproduced. I believe some with screw on metal bases are being repopped as well.
12 1/2″ wide glass bodies are being reproduced as well.

Next up are 2 piece plastic bodies that hold notched lenses.
The earliest plastic bodies are embossed Capcolite near the base on one side. Each half of these early “Capco” bodies are different. The early bodies were made of a very rigid plastic and often discolor badly.
old style capcolite markings
old style capcolite  female male
The early style Capco bodies date from 1932 or ’33. Nearly all are (were) white. There are colored versions as well.
The “new” style “Capcolite 216” body are very similar to the old style “Capcolite” body. The two different body halves were eliminated with the Capcolite 216 design. Each half is the same and looks like this on the top.
odd capcolite
Here’s a Capcolite 216 body that’s assembled. The 2 halves are held together with 3 screws and nuts. One on top, and one on each side at the base.
capcolite 216

Lenses for plastic bodies have shallow notches while lenses for glass bodies have deep notches.

Plastic bodies are being reproduced by two manufacturers. Some are marked Capcolite 216 while others are not marked. The way to tell a repro plastic body from an original is an original will have 2 alignment tabs in each body half, while the repros only have one.
capco detail original
capco detail repro

Next up are the ovals.
There are one piece glass ovals. These are quite rare.
There are glass oval bodies that hold lenses with brass screws much like a common round glass globe.
The most common ovals are Capcolite 218 plastic bodies that hold unnotched lenses.
capcolite 218

That covers the majority of globe body types. There are others like clover shaped glass bodies that hold clover shaped lenses, clover shaped bodies that hold round lenses, molded plastic figural globes, 15″ glass globes with metal bands, and the list goes on.

Posted in 1 pc globe, CAPCO, glass body globe, globe, metal body globe, Reproductions, ripple, Sinclair Tagged , , , , , , , |

Updated Galleries

I added a few images to the Misc Petroliana Gallery and the Gas Pump Globe Gallery and several in the Classic Sign Gallery.

Posted in Collecting


Some of you may have had visions of Chevy Chase and his infamous weekly pratfalls on SNL when you read the title of this blog entry. If you’re looking for comedic relief you’ll have to look elsewhere. This blog entry is about my collecting adventures late this summer and early autumn.

In the closing minutes of the spring Chicagoland Petroleum and Advertising Show in Peotone, IL I made a deal for a rare Sinclair “Triple Check” sign which was to be delivered to the fall show.
Sinclair used the “Triple Check” signage in a few select markets from 1956 until they came out with the familiar “Dino” logo in late 1958.

The agreement to purchase the experimental Triple Check sign was the first deal in what would turn out to be a fantastic fall of collecting for me.

In mid August I made a deal for a group of signs that were to be delivered to the fall show in Peotone.
The SuperFlame/H-C porcelain curb sign is one that is seldom offered for sale.

The painted tin Sinclair Credit Card sign is another sign that’s difficult to find.

The colorful cardboard Power-X sign dates from the 1950’s.

Anything from 4 Brothers is incredibly hard to find so I was happy to add this early tin sign to my collection.

The Sinclair/Covey Credit Card sign is hand painted. Anything Covey is scarce as hen’s teeth.

The purchase of these five signs plus the Triple Check are a good example of why it’s important to network with collectors and dealers when attending swap meets and auctions. None of these signs were offered at a swap meet. If it wasn’t for the friendships made through the hobby I may not have known these signs were available. The fall Peotone show was still two months away but I was already anxious to take delivery of the six signs!

This M&M Super Ethyl globe was an ebay purchase. M&M was based in central Illinois. The seller originally had a crazy buy it now price on the globe. After months of negotiations we agreed to a reasonable price that was only $20 more than my original offer.

I found this Pittsburgh Paint sign in an antique mall Labor Day weekend. You’d be hard pressed to find a more colorful porcelain sign.

A buddy from Minnesota asked me to pick up a gas pump for him. While picking up the pump, my wife and I purchased several items. The most interesting, at least to me, being this Soap Box Derby type car.
Back in the day some lucky kid was cruising in style in this 1920’s or 30’s inspired boat tail speedster!

Everyone in the hobby was talking about the upcoming series of auctions featuring Kyle Moore’s former collection. My collecting fund took a big hit with the sign purchases, but I was still planning on attending the first auction in October.

I attended a car show/swap meet in early September. Because of the upcoming auction I hadn’t planned on buying anything at the swap meet. There was a nice die cut Conoco sign that was priced to sell, so of course I had to buy it.

It turns out the guy selling the Conoco sign also had a globe for sale. Not just an ordinary globe, but a metal body Aladdin globe. This is the only known example! Illinois Farm Service is the company that used this globe.

This single sided porcelain Opaline oil cart sign came from the same collection.

My wife and I made a quick trip to the high profile auction in Pennsylvania. I think I bid on twelve items. I was the under bidder (first loser) on eight of them, and totally out to lunch on the other four.
I did buy these two porcelain coated metal globe bodies from friend while at the auction.

Next up was the Thursday night auction that was held in conjunction with the Peotone show. There was one item I really wanted in the auction. It was a high end globe. I made a serious bid on it, but came up short once again.
The Friday auction was a different story. I picked up two graphic capco body globes. “Picture globes” are sought after by collectors.
Before I left the auction I purchased this Johnson Ethyl lens from a fellow collector from Illinois. I’d say I had a pretty good day!

In addition to taking delivery of the six signs I mentioned previously, I was able to purchase several nice items at the Chicagoland show at Peotone.
A couple of unusual Sinclair cans and a rare Sinclair Stock Spray sprayer with good graphics.
A box for Sinclair Extra Duty quarts.

A picker friend from North Carolina made me a great deal on these four NOS capco bodies.

I traded for this cool 1950’s era Ford ignition parts cabinet.

Some of these deals were pre-arranged while others were being in the right place at the right time.
Being in the right place at the right time enabled me to buy the North Star Ethyl and Lion Knix Knox globes. If I had been 20 seconds later I would have missed out on the North Star globe.

I got one more item at the show that I’ll save for a future blog entry.
It truly has been a fantastic fall of collecting for me. Even though my collecting fund has been completely obliterated, I’m thrilled about adding some great items to my collection!

Posted in 4 Brothers, Auctions, CAPCO, Collecting, Covey, glass body globe, globe, metal body globe, networking, painted sign, porcelain sign, Sinclair, Sputnik, Swap Meets, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , |

It’s An Illinois Thing 2.0

Welcome to the second installment of globes from Illinois based companies.

Some of you may remember the 15″ metal body That Good Illinois Torpedo Gasoline globe from a previous blog post. I recently purchased this older version that features a torpedo graphic.

Fyre Drop was the brand name used by W. H. Barber of Chicago. I got this 15″ metal body globe from an old friend in Ohio that was down sizing his collection. This globe has weak paint which is typical of Fyre Drop lenses. This colorful globe dates from the 1930’s and is rare.
fyre drop

Next up are a couple of 15″ lenses from Chicago based Pure Oil Company. These lenses were used on white porcelain coated metal bodies. The “Products Of The Pure Oil Company” lens would have been used from 1939-’61. It’s the most common globe pictured in this blog post. “The Pure Oil Company U.S.A” lens probably dates from the same period but it is much more difficult to find in the 15″ size.
pure lenses

Chicago’s Johnson Refining Company used this 13 1/2″ glass body Johnson Ethyl globe from the 1930’s-50’s. Note the blue “rays” on the Ethyl logo. There are Johnson Ethyl globes with orange rays. Items featuring Johnson’s winged Time Tells logo are highly sought after by collectors.
johnson ethyl

Central Illinois’ Pleasant Plains was the headquarters for M & M. This CAPCO body M & M Super Ethyl globe is the rarest globe in this blog entry. It dates from the 1950’s. I like the speed lines on the Super text.
If anyone knows where I can find an M & M Premium Regular globe I’d appreciate hearing from you.
M & M

That does it for this installment. Contact me if you have any globes for sale.

Posted in CAPCO, Collecting, glass body globe, globe, metal body globe Tagged , , , , , , , |

For Sale Gallery

We’ve reworked the For Sale Gallery to make it more user friendly. I’ve posted several “budget friendly” globes and lenses as well as a few Texaco items.
I’ll be adding a few more globes as time permits.

Posted in Collecting

For Sale

Check out the new For Sale Gallery
If you have any questions or to buy items Contact me.

Posted in CAPCO, globe, porcelain sign