Tag Archives: CSSMA

Spot the “Screwdrivers”

10 Jan

Our Winter 2012 Garage Door News should be landing in members’ mailboxes very shortly. One of the articles in this issue features the Shell Oil license plate topper and the story behind Shell’s “Share the Road” campaign.

As promised, here is the full size image of the ad in that article.

Screwdrivers(Click for a larger view)


Red Indian Flare from 2011 Winter GDN

28 Jan

Hopefully everyone has received their copy of the Winter GDN and is enjoying it!

Page 20’s “It’s a Gas” featured a neat find by CSSMA member Wayne Woods. The issue was almost complete and I couldn’t fit it in on a coloured page so I thought I’d post it here so you can enjoy it in colour.

Photo by Derek McEwan

For those of you who aren’t members of the Canadian Service Station Memorabilia Association, here is the story Wayne sent us about this unique item…

“I discovered this home made Red Indian flare proudly displayed on a shelf at Mullen’s Esso Service Station located East of Pembroke, Ontario.
   Nicknamed a “slut”, it was used throughout the winter months, during the logging days in the Ottawa Valley,  to alert Teamsters of any dangers ahead on the logging roads during the late 1920’s and 1930’s.
   An interesting second life for an old oil can.”

Thanks for sharing this with us all, Wayne!



The Winter GDN is DONE!

31 Dec

Our 100th issue is now complete!

I’ll be sending it off to the printers this weekend and I’m aiming to have them mailed out the second week of January as soon as they’re printed. As always, the Winter issue is a little larger than the others so there’s more great stuff for you to enjoy!

Fill’er up

13 Oct

Mono collector’s gas station memorabilia goes on display

-By Chris Halliday

Morley Brown
Although he doesn’t collect a lot of old gas pumps, Mono resident Morley Brown has more than 100 antique Cities Service oil cans, dating all the way back to the 1920s. Brown and fellow Canadian Service Station Memorabilia Association member, Brian Horner, will host a display at the Dufferin County Museum and Archives (DCMA) from Nov. 4 to 13.

Morley Brown is a collector, plain and simple, but his fascination isn’t with coins, stamps or antique furniture — the 65-year-old Mono resident has a soft spot for old gas station memorabilia.

“If you are a collector, it doesn’t matter what it is,” Brown laughed. “Whether it is Royal Doultons, fine art or a gas pump, you collect. I like the gasoline stuff, being a car guy, that connection was always there.”

Although he possesses two old gasoline pumps — one from 1950 and another from 1959 — Brown has about 25 service station signs, some dating all the way back to the 1920s.

He specializes in oil can collection, however, possessing more than 100 containers, more specifically those made by Cities Service, some of which date back 90 years.

“I have oil cans from the 1920s that are in perfect shape and still full of oil. They have never been used,” he said. “Now that is strange itself, but what is really peculiar is where did that can survive all those years?”

From Nov. 4 to Nov. 13, Brown, and fellow Canadian Service Station Memorabilia Association club member, Brian Horner, who collects Supertest Gasoline signs and cans, will host an exhibit at the Dufferin County Museum & Archives (DCMA).

Although the exhibit is 10 days long, museum officials are planning to place some of the gas station collectors’ items on display in spurts beginning in mid- to late-October.

“Everybody remembers the old gas stations. … That is what we try to look for — things which people will connect to,” explained DCMA curator Wayne Townsend. “The gas station is where absolutely everything in the world happened.

“It was the scene of all activity. Gas purchasing and also to fill your head full of stories.”

Cities Service holds a special place in Brown’s heart. His father, Frank, drove a Cities Service truck from 1950 to 1968, picking up gasoline on Green Street in Orangeville and delivering it to local farms, houses and gas stations.

“I learned to drive a gas truck before I learned to drive a car,” Brown laughed, recalling in the 1950s and 60s, a paradigm shift was beginning to take place.

“The rural areas were becoming less isolated, people started to have to get out every day.”

If you ask Brown, Cities Service is an important company in the history of petroleum, since it was the first company deciding to own its oil well, refinery and sell its product in 1915.

“All the other companies before that were independents,” he said. “They bought oil from each other and maybe somebody else packaged it.”

When Brown approached DCMA officials to rent out the museum for the Canadian Service Station Memorabilia Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will be held on Nov. 6, Townsend was fascinated and saw an opportunity to host a full-fledged exhibit as well.

“To me, it is the gas cans. I didn’t realize that some of them were so rare because different products would come and they would change,” Townsend said. “Considering we are an oil-based economy, that is getting a lot of attention, let’s look back in history to when they were actually selling some really bizarro products at local gas stations.”

There is likely a historically significant tale behind nearly every one of the cans in Brown’s collection. For example, a couple of 80-year-old cans in his possession were discovered as an old gas station was being torn down.

“They had been boarded up in another room,” Brown said. “There was a lot of stuff in there, they just sat there.”

Brown doesn’t limit himself to oil cans and service station signs, however, he has a whack of other Cities Service items, including tires, a car battery, antique credit card machines and some brass bookends.

“I’ll be taking some signs, the one pump, a lot of oil cans and then a lot of the unusual things,” Brown said, adding he also has some promotional material from 1959, when Cities Service built a refinery in Trafalgar, which is Oakville today. “From that opening, I’ve managed to gather up some of those things.”

The gas service station exhibit will run at the DCMA from Nov. 4 to 13; some items may be put on display before that. For more information, call 705-435-9876.

Article originally published October 11, 2011 by the Orangeville Banner on Orangeville.com

Fall GDN is in the works!

23 Aug

I’m done my summer holidays and it’s time to get to work on the Fall issue of The Garage Door News.

Don’t forget that all club members can submit an ad for the Gas-sifieds for free! Want to thin out your collection a bit? Have a double of something? Send the ad to me via e-mail or snail mail. Ads are placed on a first come, first served basis so don’t wait too long! If you’d like to include a small photo with your ad, it’s only $5 payable to the club treasurer.

I’m always looking for new content as well. I haven’t received much response to my plea for input so you’ll have to keep taking what I give you! Unless, that is, you would like to contribute. Show off that really rare item you found at a yard sale on the weekend. Send me the pictures you took of all those old signs you saw on your summer vacation. Do you have an unusual item and some history about it that others would enjoy seeing? Any creative writers out there? How about a fictional story about your friendly neighbourhood gas station attendant? How about a poem about our hobby? I dont know!! I’m just throwing ideas out there in hopes it will spark an idea from you. I really would like to see the magazine be more of a group effort and openly welcome anything you’d care to send me.

I also would like to appeal to our members to the left and right of us here in Ontario. I’d sure like to hear about what you are up to in your parts of the country. Any interesting swap meets or auctions? Any Irving Oil specialists out there? I’m going to start highlighting the various oil companies and need some Irving info. Do you have an Irving collection and some history? Please get in touch! What can you Westerners tell us about that we might not know?

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!


Hello world!

11 Aug

Welcome to our new Blog.

I’ll be posting lots of things I hope our members (and non-members) will enjoy reading and looking at. If you have ideas you think others would enjoy, please pass them along to me for posting.

Please be sure to leave a comment or send me an e-mail to let me know you’ve visited and enjoy the blog.