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in this issue Soda Machines 101 Spring 2012 - April • May • June

Displaying Your Collection Collecting Gas & Oil Volume 2

Collectors Wanted! Icollect247 is proud to offer Quality Antique Dealers, who know what they are selling and are available to a buyer via phone or email to answer questions. We don’t play games with anonymous nicknames and feedback. Our dealers offer original vintage antiques and collectables and not reproductions, limited editions or fantasy items. Where else can you go on the internet or in local antique malls to find this? Lee, one of our customers said, “It’s great that I don’t have to sort through hundreds of limited editions, reproductions and craft items to find what I want.” Another comment included, “Knowing that every item is screened before going live, gives me confidence that the item is ‘old’”. We have also heard from shoppers who can use 10 minutes of their lunch to check “New Arrivals”. Many of our dealers did the Indy Ad Show in March. Meet them via You Tube by searching “” and search “icollect247.” It is always nice to put a face with a dealer. There is nowhere else on the web that you can do that. You can also check out the “SHOP DIRECTORY” at the top of the home page for a list of icollect247 dealers. Many of our dealers have been with us since icollect247 appeared on the scene four years ago. As for Feedback, we let our customers tell the story, so check out the “FEEDBACK” page also. Buying is user friendly. No matter whether you are searching by category or specific item, your favorite dealer or search by price, we have it all.

NEW DEALERS ALWAYS WELCOME! If you are a Quality Dealer and want to join our site, it is easy to open a store. It is user friendly and simple to use. We do not play games with listing or selling fees and in four years have not changed our rates or fees, just a flat $35 per month. Listing and selling could not be easier.

Displaying Your collection Collectors enjoy displaying their collections anywhere there is room. Each month we will bring you lots of interesting ideas of how to display your special items...or even give you an idea of something new to collect!

Baskets can decorate any corner.

For ‘His’ favorite things!

Small things can add color to any table. Remember there are always doors.

Interesting way to display old swimsuits and hats!


Any cabinet can hold lots of smalls.

Collecting Gas and oil In the hobby of collecting advertising memorabilia, one subject that plagues us all is reproductions. I would like to make it clear that reproductions are not necessarily bad. Reproductions can be a great way to add an expensive item to your collection without paying top dollar. For those of us that do not have $50,000 in disposable cash to spend on a Musco, Harbor, or Clipper sign, a reproduction is the only way to add one of these great pieces to our collections. Most reproductions are clearly marked as such and are not meant to deceive the public. New collectors are often taken advantage of mainly because of a lack of experience. It is important for all collectors to educate themselves as much as possible by reading guide books about their specific hobby and other publications that keep them up to date on possible deceptions that have arisen. The main thing to remember when buying any collectable item is what I consider “The Golden Rule of collecting” - Always buy from reputable auction companies and dealers that are familiar with the items they are selling. Make sure these companies will stand behind their products. If you are buying from a dependable source you can be confident that they are selling original pieces and if a reproduction accidentally slips through the cracks, they will work with you to correct their error. There are a lot of great auction houses and dealers in the United States that accidentally Reproduction Sinclair H-C Gasoline, DSP sign, 30” in diameter, mounting holes are on top and located at 1 o’clock and 11 o’clock. Also, the white layer of porcelain is the top layer; most of the time white was the bottom layer of porcelain.

A close-up reveals that the lines on this sign are not straight and crisp. Original signs were made by professional sign makers with straight, crisp lines.

sell reproduction items to the public because they are not familiar with that genre of collectible. It is not that they have tried to deceive their customers; it is just that they are unaware that the items are not what they appear to be. There has been a wave of reproduction items produced within the past several years. These items are very similar to the originals and people are selling them as if they are originals. However, if you know what you are looking for, there are a few tell-tale signs to let you know you are looking at an imposter. In the world of porcelain signs, one way to distinguish between an original and a reproduction is quality. Most original signs were made by a professional sign maker. By looking at the quality of the workmanship on the sign one can often tell if it is a reproduction. Original signs have very crisp clear lines and edges on all letters and graphics. Also, the porcelain should be smooth and usually has shelving. Shelving was created during the making of the sign. Each layer of enamel is layered on and fired separately so on most porcelain signs one can actually feel the layers or the “shelving.” One exception is that signs made in the 1950’s or later do not have very much shelving. This is because of the advancements made in the enameling process. This caused the surface of porcelain signs to feel smoother and decreased the amount of shelving. Also, original signs were made with porcelain covering all sides. If a sign is missing enamel on the sides or inside of the grommet holes, it is often a reproduction. The enamel inside of the grommet holes does often get chipped away, but there is almost always proof of its previous existence. Reproduction and fantasy items can be a great way to fill holes in your collection. For more information on the value of signs and how to tell a reproduction from an original, educate yourself by reading trade books such as The Fine Art of Collecting and Displaying Petroliana by Daniel K. Matthews or other books focused on your hobby. Jody Major & Dan Matthews Matthews Auction LLC, Indy Ad Show Dealer

Collecting 101: Soda Machines How Old Is My Soda Cooler? If you buy, sell or collect antiques, most likely you have owned or contemplated owning an old soda cooler at some point and I’m sure like most of us, you wanted to know how old it is!! This is probably the most asked question that I get every day. Well, hopefully by the end of this article you will be able to answer this question about some of the coolers out there. I’ll start with the Pre World War II chest coolers and the easiest way to tell if it is Pre WWII is if the sides of the cooler are straight (do not bow out). The two biggest manufacturers of the chest coolers during this era were Westinghouse Manufacturing Company and The Cavalier Corporation. The 4 most popular sizes you find are: Junior - 18” long, Standard - 31” long, Master - 42” long and Giant 68” long. You cannot tell which manufacturer produced the cooler by looking at the cabinet, they are exactly alike. If you open the lid and look inside the cooler on the tank liner you will find letters and/or numbers stamped in the metal. If the code is stamped on the side of the tank, the cooler was made by Westinghouse. If the code is stamped on the back of the tank, the cooler was made by Cavalier. Now, for what the numbers and/or letters mean (this is where you can really make your friends think you know your stuff!!).


We’ll use code number W-AIS as an example. The first letter indicates the manufacturer (W-Westinghouse). The three remaining letters are code letters representing numerals giving the month and year of manufacture. The code used in translating these letters to numbers

is RADIO TUBES. R=1, A=2, D=3, I=4, O=5, T=6, U=7, B=8, E=9, S=0. So, the three letters AIS in the code above represent 240. The first numeral is the month (2-February) and the second and third combine to give the year of the manufacture (40-1940). (See picture illustration)


Not quite as easy as Westinghouse because they used more than one code to determine the manufacturer through the years. Most of the coolers you find will be marked TN for Cavalier at the beginning of the code. However, prior to 1938 they used either the single letter T or the number 7. But in any case, the two letters, single letter or the number 7 represent the manufacturer as Cavalier. Then there will be a dash then two numbers another dash and one or two more numbers. The first set of two numbers indicate the year and the second set of number(s) indicate the month the cooler was manufacturer. Code TN-40-5 would indicate the cooler was made by Cavalier in 1940 in the month of May. (See Picture illustration) Unfortunately there isn’t an easy way to determine the Post World War II coolers. They label these coolers “The Bow Out Chest Coolers” because the sides bow out and are not straight up and down. You cannot tell the exact year but the rule of thumb is they are from the 1950’s. Sorry, but that’s as close as you can get on these !! So, head out to a show, flea market or antique mall and pick up an old soda cooler. Summer is here and nothing will keep your soda colder than these old chest coolers and they make a great conversation piece on your deck, patio or by the pool. In the next issue I’m going to give you a few tips to help you identify the upright soda machines. Don’t miss it !! Janet Heuerman Partner - Fun-Tronics, LLC, Soda Machine Parts, Authorized Dealer for Coca Cola Decals & Indy Ad Show Dealer

Quick Code Reference R=1 A=2 D=3 I=4 O=5

T=6 U=7 B=8 E=9 S=0

AIS = 240


The 1st numeral is the month. 2= February The 2nd numeral is the year. 40=1940

What’s the difference? Many people enjoy collecting small size / miniature items. They are an interesting part of history that don’t take up much space. The question is, do you have a Patent Model? A Salesman Sample? Or a Child’s Toy? It is easy to confuse the three, because the terms are widely used and often interchanged when describing small items.

Patent Models

From 1790 to 1880, inventors were required by the Patent Office to submit a miniature prototype of the actual product along with their application for the patent. According to the Patient Model Association, patent models are one-of-a-kind items usually made by highly skilled craftsmen. During the 1800’s there was a whole industry based around Washington making models for people seeking to get a patent. The model was required not to be more than 12 inches square and the name of the inventor was to be either printed (or engraved) on the model or attached in a sturdy manner. Detailed drawings which were included with the working model showed exactly how the items would be built or manufactured. Patent models began hitting the market in the early 1900’s, when the patent office began to run out of storage. Unpatented items were the first to be sold. As storage continued to be a problem, additional items were sold at auction in later years. To truly know you have a patent model, you would have the documentation that was submitted along with the item. When you own one, you own the only one.

Salesman Samples

Often times, the only way for a country store or business to find out about a new product was through their salesman that personally visited their business. The salesman would bring a sample of the new products with him to show his customer. These “salesman samples” were scaled replicas of the real product. This was especially true of the large items, like a farm plow, windmill, steam engine or washing machine. Many times, he had a

special carrying case just for the item. When you find the salesman sample with the original carrying case with the sales literature, it generally demands a higher value than the sample alone. There are hundreds of examples: Coca Cola Glascock coolers, uniforms for Buddy Lee Dolls (discussed in our first edition), mechanical pencils in cases, vacuum cleaners, Cryporium “Vault”, pony express saddles and more. Quantities of product samples were given to retailers as “giveaways” to their customers to let them try the product to see if they liked it. Companies won over customers by this free gift. This is still in use today via your doctor’s office, which have supplies from local drug companies. Vintage samples are found in a wide variety of products including tiny loafs of bread, cleaning detergent, medicines and food products, just to name a few.

Child’s Toy

Child sized items were scaled replicas of adult size items made for children to play with. The companies wanted children to play with their products to promote the future sales when the child got older and was ready to buy. The early toys like cast iron stoves and furniture were made of the same material and had much of the same detail as the life sized item. Later on, the toys tend to show less pronounced detail and have non working parts (doors not opening, knobs not turning, etc). After all, who would want to buy a product when they remember from childhood that it fell apart or broke easily. What to collect? Any of these are wonderful additions to your collection. Some collectors just focus on miniatures of brands they collect, while some just love the small size containers and collect any variation of every brand. There is something out there for every pocketbook and space. Graphics and designs on many of these are breath taking and if you have not looked at this collecting field, do it today.


March 2012 Indy Ad Show Beautiful Spring weather welcomed customers to the March Indy Antique Advertising Show as they lined up early on both days. In line for the Friday preview was Martin from London, England who was thrilled to be at the show for the first time. He had heard what a great show Indy was while attending another event in Virginia and was curious as to what he might find. Excitement was in the air as the dealers, including 18 first time dealers, had once again brought outstanding items to the show. With 100 dealers, the customers had a wide range to choose from. Linda and Dale from Ohio attended the show on Saturday and have been coming to the show for 20 years. “This is the best selection I’ve seen in years at any show!” exclaimed Linda. “It’s exciting to see so much good stuff!” In celebration of the 40th anniversary, B & D Promotions gave out custom totes bags filled with goodies to the first 400 customers. The canvas tote with the Indy Ad logo could be seen all around the fairgrounds that weekend. The tote was so popular that dealers were asking if they could buy one! “We heard great reports from the dealers and attendees on the outstanding quality of merchandise and the increased size of the show”, remarked promoter Bruce 1916 Poultry Show Poster measuring 20” X 30” , $550, from Michael Oskiera, PA


Bill Rawski, owner Zapp Productions, Chicago, IL, is well known for his unique décor items frequently used by restaurants and movie companies.

Weir. A long time dealer at the Show commented: “Sales were up with items flying off the shelf” There were so many great quality items that customers had a hard time making decisions. At the end of the day, several customers who returned to buy items found out they were too late as the item had been sold. Additionally, several customers have contacted B & D Promotions since the show asking for help in locating items they wish they had purchased. “When you make major changes like opening different days and hours, I must admit I was a bit anxious to see the results” said promoter Donna Weir. Both the customers and dealers were very pleased. Some dealers commented they had returned to the show because it was no longer on Sundays (which they set aside for church). The changes proved to be very successful! Plans are well underway for the next show on September 28-29, 2012 in the same location at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Friday Preview is 2-6pm. Preview tickets can be purchased in advance for $40 each (saving $10) from the website at Friday admission includes both days. Saturday hours are 9-4 with $8 admission.

Antique Back Roads a Huge Success “Love, Love, Love This!” said Guy and Linda, after reading it. The magazine’s first issue was a success. The emails and coupons off the back of the magazine started coming in quickly. We got lots of suggestions on articles that collectors would like to see. You may be asking yourself, how did I get this? It’s really simple; two businesses combined their customer base and sent it to you free. Here’s the rest of the story. Irene & Carter Davis of icollect247 and Donna & Bruce Weir of B & D Promotions discovered they had similar passions while enjoying dinner & drinks together. They wanted to grow their business, support the antique dealers & customers they worked with and elevate the awareness in the antique industry. The result - Antique Back Roads. A collector–to-collector publication that is informative and a quick read. Teaming up together makes perfect sense to them. While they are both in the antique industry, they have different venues. Icollect247 is an online antique mall

designated to vintage & antique items while B & D Promotions sponsors the Indy Antique Advertising Show in Indianapolis, Indiana. “We want to broaden our customer base without competing against each other,” said Irene. “As collectors ourselves, we know how difficult it can be to find those special items. It’s not just in one venue anymore. It could be at a show or in a shop or online. The Weir’s cover one aspect and we cover the other two.” The publication is free of charge and will be published on a quarterly basis. If you wish to continue to receive the publication by postal or receive an email when the publication is available on line, you must do one of the following: either return the form below or go on line to and fill out the form. We will only be sending Antique Back Roads to those who request it. If you missed the first issue, it’s available on line at Hope you enjoy our Antique Back Roads.

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Antique Back Roads Magazine, Vol 2, Spring 2012  

Articles on vintage and antique gas and oil signs, Coca Cola soda machines, displaying items and reviews on Indy Ad Show and Icollect247.

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