When one looks at antique automobilia and its many forms of advertising, one of the most diverse and colorful forms are vintage oil cans. Oil cans have become a dominant staple in any collection devoted to the oil and auto industry. The great graphics, rarity, and color scheme of many of these containers have contributed to their desirability.
When I began collecting, some five years ago, I decided to buy two gallon cans, rather than one quart. While the one quart is one of the most popular sizes, I liked the graphics of the larger and the rectangular format looked good on a shelf. rather than one quart. While the one quart is one of the most popular sizes, I liked the graphics of the larger and the rectangular format looked good on a shelf. Many times they proved more affordable than a quart companion with identical graphics.
Two gallon cans were first produced in the early 1930’s around the same time as the first sealed one and five quart tins. Two gallons were mainly created for the “do it yourself” type of motorist. While quart and five quart cans were easy to be opened and drained right at the source of purchase, two gallons were meant to last a little longer and taken home for oil to be added when needed. The two gallons were sold not only by oil companies and gas stations, but by home-auto type stores, department stores, automobile, tractor, and equipment dealers, even hardware and grocery stores.
Read more of Lucas Kaczynski’s love of oil cans in Volume 11 of Antique Back Roads. Visit http://www.AntiqueBackRoads.com and click on Back Issues.