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promoting the hobby ?

Posted By: HI-OCTANE

promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 01:41 AM

How important is it that we work on a group to promote the hobby ? If you think its important,why ? To protect our investments ? Because we love this stuff and want to expose others to our hobby for the fun of it ? Other reasons ? If you dont think its very important, why ? Its a small hobby, dosent really need to grow were happy where we are ? Im really curious on this one if you think its important,how do you go about it on a local level ? I think thats where it all starts. Thank you for your thoughts.
Posted By: Maps for the memories

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 02:56 AM

Interesting question...I look at it from a historic preservation standpoint. Neighborhood gas stations are disappearing rapidly, and it's important that people remember the times of abundance.
I don't think road map collecting is as visual a hobby. It's hard to display them in an eye-catching manner like you can with globes and pumps. But IMO, tracing highway routes and travelling the back roads using historical road maps is a heckuva lot of fun.
Personally, I do have an eye toward protecting my investment. It would be nice if someone recognized the value of my collection when it's time for the retirement home. I try to document my maps and postcards as well as I can just in case their final home becomes an archive instead of a collector's home, because to me, history is part of value.
Posted By: Jack Sim

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 03:31 AM

Around 2006, the anniversary of the first drive-in gas station (which was here in St. Louis), I got hold of the St. Louis Dispatch newspaper and they came out and interviewed me. While they explained about the 100th anniversary, the article was a little too much about me, which was not my intent, but it did point out that this old service station stuff was collectible.

You want a project that you can go to the local TV station or local newspaper with? Take a Sunday, get a good camera and go out and take pictures of all the old service stations you can find, and I don't mean all those old Shell stations from the 70s, real old stations. It doesn't matter what they are being used for today, take the picture. Then, go to the local Historical Society or library and see if they have any pictures of the station when it was in use back in 192?. Who else but us are going to preserve the history of old gas stations?

Jack Sim
Posted By: hillsideshortleg

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 03:33 AM

In my opinion: I think our kids are our future and they have blinders on that direct them towards computers and making big money doing as little as posible while looking out mainly for themselves. Our kids need to experiance more areas of industry. They read about things of the past in books but have no or little hands on experiance. Exposing some snot nosed little brat to a gas pump could spark a intrest in 50 differant areas. Sheet metal, machining,casting, electrical or painting. There are so many kids out there totaly lost on where there path in life is supposed to start and go. Luckly I had a dad that pushed me into going to hydraulic school. I was lost and into trouble heading no place. The little seed of school opened up a whole huge world of things for me to learn.Fortunatly old gas pumps was where one of the branches lead. Another was a good wife that keeps me in line. My sons 21 year old girl friend was up over the weekend and learned how to use a wheelbarrel. Now she's talking about a career as a wheel barrel operator. Unfortunatly the branch never lead me to good spelling. IMO
Posted By: chadrock00

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 04:29 AM

I would love to be able to call someone up on any given day and say “let’s going junkin’.” I have not one friend that enjoys the same things that I do that I talk to on a regular basis. My dad has a nice collection of stuff, but he’s kind of laid off the gas and oil thing for a while. But on the other hand, do I really want someone else finding what I could have found? I have to dig twice as deep as I use to find things, because chances are I have already been there digging once. The more the word is put out, the more people will “THINK” they know. Antique dealers or that old guy with the pump for instance. Antique dealers shock me more and more every time that I step foot in an antique store. Their prices continue to rise and the things that they have in their booths are the same things that they had 6 months ago. These booths are the ones that are marked down 25%, put their prices are 40% over value. A quick example would be plain oil bottles that we have all seen for $75.00 each. And that old guy that has a Wayne 80 but it might as well be a Wayne 60 as far as the price goes….You have met at least one. The preservation of what we like is something that appeals to me as I think it would to all of us. I love to look at other people stuff, but I hate to watch things sit and rust because the owner has been misinformed in one way or another. 50/50 I guess…Sort of a double edged sword.
Posted By: Ohio Oil

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 12:02 PM

As a country we have shifted from a country known for what they produce to a country known for what they consume. Both my kids got their degrees and have careers in the service industry. In other words they don't produce a physical product. And...if you look around that's where most well paying jobs are these days.

I said all that to say this....most younger people are not as mechanical/industrial minded as they were a few decades ago. I don't think our collections mean much to them. It's hard for them to relate to an era that they did not grow up in.

As to it's importance, I suppose every collectable hobby believes their stuff is historically significant. Whether it be railroad collecting, antique cars, or fishing lures.
Posted By: eshaver

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 12:24 PM

Like this Jack ? Ed Shaver
Posted By: Ryan Fortner

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 12:50 PM

I live in Houston TX and if anyone around here wants to "go junkin " and needs a running buddy Im all in!
Posted By: chrisbowers

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 01:34 PM

I hear what Chadrock is saying. Promotion of the hobby is both a blessing and a curse. I'm 28 so I skew towards the younger end of the hobby. I've been into it since I was 13, but by the time I had enough disposible income to really go out and try to find some stuff, a lot of the stuff in the wild is gone. What's left, people usually think is made out of solid gold, like the rusted out 5 foot Bennett I found near me the the old guy said was worth "thousands". People watch things like Barrett Jackson, Antiques Roadshow, etc and know that whatever they have is worth "something" but usually you end up coming up against the $2000 Wayne 80 rather than the $100 Husky can.

Also agree with hillsideshortleg. While I do work in an office in the services sector, I also appreciate doing things with my own two hands. I change my own oil, I fix my small engines when they break down, I fix stuff in my house when it goes wrong. I call a professional when I find I can't do something and don't have a friend who knows how. I really find that this is an oddity within my generation. I have a friend or two like me, but most look at me funny when they see how many tools I have, when I say I'm renting a boom lift to trim my trees rather than having a tree service come do it for me. I don't know what exactly happened with my generation, I guess I was the first video game generation?

While it's still lots of fun getting stuff from other collectors, meeting people, going to shows, etc, I wish I had come along a little sooner when there was still more "hunting" to be done out in the country.
Posted By: hillsideshortleg

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 01:35 PM

Please dont get me wrong. Money is nice to have, I think I would like to have more of it or a 6' union 76 ball which ever comes first.But when I get a chance I drag a kid into our shop and say ya wana learn how to weld or use a plasma, or give them a small sign or some thing. Ed Shaver is a good example of how carving turned into a art. I know the welding probably wont click with the kid but at least I had a couple of minutes to expose them to my hobby and open thier eyes to some thing new. I have a real soft spot in me that feels bad for young kids that may not have a male figure in thier life to help expose them to whats all out there in this world.
Posted By: bruzer75

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 02:19 PM

I collect because I am a collector. The value means nothing to me because I do not collect with the intent of ever selling the stuff. As far as promoting the hobby I have been given items and have given items away. Done some trading too. Some of my friends and lots of my family have Chevron items because that is what I collect. I have also spread the parking meter craze. And when I pass there will be a good sized yard sale, auction or if the seed has sprouted my Son and Grandson's collection will have gotten bigger.

Now if I had lots of money tied up in my collection or if I was collecting and selling so I could afford bigger and better stuff. My thoughts would be very different.
Posted By: gatorgaspumps

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 02:31 PM

I guess it depends where you live as to what interest there may be in the hobby. Living in a small farm based community I think there is a greater chance that kids would be interested in the hobby. Several years ago I displayed three pumps at the historical society for several months. The responce I got was suprising in some respect. I got the older people remembering back when, which was expected. But it was the kids in the 7-15 range which surprised me. They spent allot of time looking at the pumps and wanted more information on them. I think if we take the time we can promote the hobby in the younger generation. If we don't take the time to promote the hobby every thing we have collected and restored will be for nothing and might have well gone to the scrap yard. Richard
Posted By: gulfiend!

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 02:51 PM

...we should promote the hobby, for better or worse...

...I think as long as kids like cars (and working on them), some of them will gravitate to the petro stuff when they see it displayed at a fellow car buff's garage...the allure of 'fixing something up' will always appeal to some...thankfully...

...people seeing your collection starts a rather predictable chain of events: first they give you something they found, or at least tell you about where it is and who has it...later, they tell you about a piece they found - but this time it's hanging up at their house and they're 'gonna keep it for now'... wink
Posted By: Old Iron

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 03:22 PM

Hi maps for the memories,

Good point. I to collect and display with a VERY strong appreciation of history. A large part of my collection has a direct tie to New Mexico. For me, it's fun to point out things to visitors and describe how they relate to the history of our region.

If we don't promote the hobby as an element of preserving the history of the gas and oil industry a lot of it will just fade away. IMO.

By the way, I display a few of my maps leaning op against the wall next to globes of the same brands; looks great! Guess what? They are all old maps of New Mexico.
Posted By: jkyocom

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 03:29 PM

When I tell people I restore computers for antique gas pumps they look at me like I am nuts.
You know ,,,,,,that "puzzeled dog" look.
Automaticaly they start thinking of microsoft.

I get the stranger looks when I start talking about clocks.
They usually don't get it till you explain the whole genre.
When folks SEE your stuff it's totaly different.
....it was the porcelain that sucked me in.

One plumbing customer who was a retired college proff, told me he had used a pump computer in a math class as a visual aid.
Posted By: DWSheffer

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 04:56 PM

I think about this a lot really. Although I don't collect strictly for the future monetary value of gas/oil items, I still hope that all of the money I am sinking into my collection at age 33 will have been a wise choice when I'm 65 or 70, since this money is not going to a retirement fund, per se. I guess I would hope that it's still worth what I paid for it at least! I really enjoy my Mobil collection though and love seeing people's faces when they walk in my place and see hundreds of Flying Red Horses all over!
I am on the board of the local historical society, and obviously we strive all the time to promote history to the younger generations. A couple years back we displayed a small part of local collector and Old Gas member Kevin Burkett's handy oiler collection at our museum during the county fair week. (We have a small museum on the fair grounds.) This display turned out to be one of the most popular we've ever shown. I also brought in my Red Crown globe to top the display. I think many people, even the ones who grew up in the hey day of the stations, had forgotten just how many different BIG oil companies there once was. It was something that appealed to people of all ages. Like Richard said above, it's getting this stuff out there to places where kids can actually see it and question the who, what, when, where's, and why's of what we collect and preserve for the future generations. I too am amazed at some of the younger folks that tour our museums. Some you can tell have more of a strong pull towards the past, not in the way that most kids are naturally inquisitive, but some that you know will more than likely be historians of sorts and who truly appreciate history. They remind me of myself when I was 10 or 12 years old. I think these are the youngsters that will carry on our hobbies, no matter what sort in particular.
I think whatever each of us can do to promote our hobby on the local level is a benefit to all. Ask your local historical society if you could do a display for them. Luckily the Hillsdale Co. Historical Society has lots of photos of our old stations and we have displayed these at different events. What I wouldn't give to have seen "Gasoline Alley" in its day....5 of the stations in a row, Mobil, Hy-Flash, Sunoco, Pure, and the Hi-Speed....Those were the days.
Posted By: lordparaffin

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Tue Nov 10 2009 11:13 PM

I just like things that are old and the history that goes with them. At a local fair earlier this very senior gentleman with a mind that totally blew me away designed and built this up and down saw for cutting up logs into rough boards. I studied that thing for half an hour. It was slow but quite precise and efficient vs. the old way of having two men sawing by hand. Every thing about it amazed me! I often think I was born about 3 or 4 generations too late. It's simplicity harked to a different era. If I can never experience that life, I want to collect and preserve those things from a time in history that I find to be just as amazing as that saw. I want to study it and enjoy it somehow. Collecting things is in my nature. History is something I enjoy. The financial part of it just happens to be a part of it. I put money into what I collect with the hope that I break even someday if some unfortunate turn of events in life force me to have to unload it. I'd love to pass it on to my son....but at the current time least, he doesn't seem to "feel the Love". For now, I can only hope my efforts to save these things will be appreciated by someone someday.
Posted By: quincy oil&gas

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Wed Nov 11 2009 02:28 AM

i just like the history behind the petro things. i also collect vintage coke. that's why i don't restore my finds, i like the vintage look. living in a good size city i try to promote the hobby but it isn't catching on just no interest. i get plenty of strange looks and you collect what!. people in a big city just don't collect things like that. my goal is to find a place some day to show my \better/ things off for people to look at, and maybe to learn something. i recently found a vintage 50's Westinghouse coke machine in the middle of down town Boston of all place's.i placed it at the end of my short driveway thinking i would get some kind of respond for my neighbors, not a one. so much for promoting history.
Posted By: Jack Sim

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Wed Nov 11 2009 05:03 AM

I posted something above, but this is a subject that we can beat to death with no answer. From the time 50 years ago I dragged an old Model T Ford out of some woods, I knew I preserving something from the past. It doesn't matter if you sold it to someone else who restored it, you were the one who kept it from being a piece of rust. We are all involved in preserving the past, we don't necessarly have to promote it. Many 1904 Model A Fords were restored, but I didn't see any being traded in for clunkers last summer. Just saving a pump or a sign is promoting.

Jack Sim
Posted By: Dick Bennett

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Wed Nov 11 2009 04:57 PM

I enjoy sharing/storing some of my pumps at the local museum here in town, UNION OIL CO. Birthplace 1889. They are appreciated by others & adds to their display of items. The building is now called the CALIFORNIA OIL MUSEUM of Santa Paula.
Posted By: TerryL

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Wed Nov 11 2009 10:00 PM

Collecting this stuff and restoring it and displaying it IS a preservation of history. People collect things they relate to.
It is a lot of fun and great enjoyment especially the people you meet along the way.
When I started collecting I got some strange looks and comments like "what do you want with those old oil cans?" Now things sure have changed, the hobby has already grown by leaps and bounds and is still growing everyday.
Just my 2 cents
Posted By: gasmansgp

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Sun Nov 15 2009 10:14 PM

Anyone who knows me , knows that I've been doing this for a long time. I truely enjoy this hobby and take the time to chat with people needing enlightenment! I was very lucky this week in that I had visitors from Montreal. John, Frank and Dennis came 10 hours to spend the day. Really great guys. Then on Saturday,I had a couple who live in New York City, but are actually from Sydney, Austrailia. Had a teriffic visit with them as well. Here's my observation.....our hobby is picking up momentum in other parts of the world. I was told that it is really popular in Austrailia but that there is not much stuff to find there. The couple was buying to ship home. My friends from Montreal said that they weren't able to get certain pump types there so decided to head across the border. They were very knowledgeable about this stuff, and excited as well. It is always fun sharing all my usless information with new friends. Am I promoting the hobby?....maybe...but what I'm really doing is meeting new and interesting people....Paul
Posted By: HI-OCTANE

Re: promoting the hobby ? - Mon Nov 16 2009 12:38 AM

Very well said one and all.Fun people are what make the hobby fun for me. And looking at other peoples collections, and talking to other collectors and promoting the hobby to bring more fun people in to it.Is my objective. Looks like many of you are woking for the same thing.
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