I have vivid memories of the first gas pump globe I ever saw. One rainy night Dad pulled his 1959 Ford Ranch Wagon to the pump island at the local Conoco filling station. As the attendant approached the car, Dad got out and said “fill ‘er up”, then went in the building to get a snack for my brother to eat on the bus on his way home from a school sporting event the next day. Mom, my siblings, and I waited in the car. I entertained myself by looking at the illuminated signs at the neighboring businesses, and how the water droplets on the car window distorted the light. I then looked through the side window and saw the gas pump with a green globe with a red triangle on it. I’m guessing that was probably 1963 or 1964. I was only 4 or 5 years old and had no idea how obsessed I’d become with gas pump globes. I remember seeing other globes after that but really didn’t give them much thought.
It wasn’t until reading an article about signs and gas pump globes in Old Cars Weekly in the early 1980’s that I became interested in collecting, but I had no idea where to find the stuff. In 1982 I was painting a house for an eccentric customer. He wanted me to use some painting supplies he had stored in the attic above his garage. While searching for the supplies I spotted a gas pump globe. I asked the customer if he wanted to sell the globe. He replied that he thought he’d hang on to it for awhile longer. I asked again the next day. His reply was NOT FOR SALE! Late in the afternoon on my last day on that job I was up on a scaffold painting, when the customer called out for me to get down so we could talk. As I was climbing down I could see he was trying to hide the gas pump globe behind his back. As I approached he held it out to me and said “it’s yours”. I couldn’t stop smiling. The globe he gave me had a green body with a red triangle. It was the very same Conoco globe I had seen on that rainy night nearly twenty years earlier.
The first globe I ever saw when I was a child, was the first globe in my collection!