The automobile revolutionized transportation and profoundly impacted American history and culture and its success was due in large part to the internal combustion engine.
Unlike previous motors that used steam or electricity, the internal combustion engine was powered by gasoline (refined petroleum) and lubricated with motor oil (refined crude oil with additives).
The automobile industry expanded rapidly in the twentieth century, and to service it, companies, big and small, national and regional, sold a variety of related products.
Petroliana is the term used to describe the collecting of artifacts associated with gasoline stations and the oil industry.
Notable examples of such objects include gas pumps, signs, and oil cans, but there are numerous other subcategories.
Many of the companies featured are still in operation to this day, but countless others are no longer in business.
Regardless of the type of artifact or the name of the company, oil and gas memorabilia is an important (and popular) part of our national heritage.
The Farmington Museum has a significant Petroliana collection, the large majority of which came from collector Alan Hawkinson.
Recognizing the significance of the objects and their quality of craftsmanship, Hawkinson began collecting in the 1970s and has yet to stop.
He discovered the majority of the objects on display locally in the Four Corners region.
Hawkinson also personally restored several of the pieces, including the gas pumps and the fuel wagon.
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