Today I learned that in the world of collectibles, gas pumps actually have their own genre, and it’s called “petroliana“. If you’re a classic car lover or just love vintage stuff, prepare to freak out a little bit over the most complete collection of petroliana anywhere else the world. Welcome to the Museo Fisogni…
I. want. everything.
The Museo Fisogni started out as a warehouse near Milan, filled with more than 50 years of Guido Fisogni’s passion for collecting and restoring anything belonging to the history of the petrol station. In the early sixties, Guido chanced upon an an old five-litre, double-vessel Bergomi gasoline pump, abandoned in a sand quarry, in pitiable condition.
“I decided immediately to recuperate and restore it, and since that moment … work and hobby now intermingled, I have been able to put together a collection which the experts of industrial art judge to be unique and particularly rich.”
The unique Fisogni Museum of the Petrol Stations, now holds than 5000 pieces of industrial archaeology collected by Guido, including petrol pumps, globes, gas containers, advertising boards for roads and locations, air compressors, fire extinguishers, tools, gadgets, toys, photographs and more. Funnily enough, the only thing the museum doesn’t have is gas for your car.
Its amazing to think about how to most people, this stuff was just a bunch of greasy junk they’d rather not have to put their hands on. Nowadays, you can’t get your hands on pieces like these for less than a small fortune.
A popular Italian writer, Alessandro Baricco, touches on the perception of the 19th century the petrol station…
In every classroom, there was always one kid who wanted to work at a gas station when he grew up. A gas station? A gas station. How silly, you thought. But you were wrong. That kid was a poet, and in a way none of us could grasp, he was less silly than any of us. He was someone who, while still in his childish short pants, was able to smell the perfume of a legend. He could see it where we only saw a gas station, the stink of petrol, and dirty hands. He could see the legend.
None of this excellent museum’s collection is for sale, which is probably a good thing, but you can buy a book on this insane collection.
Ready for a Petroliana Shopping Spree?
I don’t know about you, but this post has left me feeling a little thrifty, so I jumped over to eBay to see what’s on offer these days…
How about this giant Mobil Pegasus sign
This seller makes vintage style petrol station globe lights.
Quick this vintage 1950s porcelain curved sign is about to go any minute now (if it hasn’t already).
This seller has an amazing collection of vintage pumps ranging from $3,000 to $11,000.
For something a little lighter on the pocket and that take up a lot less space, I found these toy collectibles for sale, from left: item 1, item 2, item 3.
And now we’re getting serious with original 1963 Gulf Gas Oil Pam Clock, going for a rather decent price of $495.