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Golden West Pump Plate...Myth? #35968
Tue Feb 07 2006 11:36 AM
Tue Feb 07 2006 11:36 AM
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Clarksville, Tn. USA
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Gary Drye Offline OP
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Gary Drye  Offline OP
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As my January issue of Petroleum Collectibles was lost in the mail, I asked Scott Benjamin to send me another, which he did (thank you Scott). I just received it a few days ago and Repo Alert was one of the first things I read. Scott discusses the Golden West pump plates. Here is his short article.

"If anyone ever finds a known original Golden West pump plate, let me know and I'll buy a phony one. Then I'll send it to you so you can take photographs of both of them together. I can't tell you how many calls I get on these pump plates and I say the same thing. "I can't tell unless they are side by side". Of course, then anyone can tell. I've heard the blue is different from viewing the two side by side but I'm sure there are other answers. This would hopefully help sort out this ongoing question."

I bought one a couple or so years ago from a VERY reputable sign dealer. It was sold to me as "original" "NOS" ...and expensive. I know they are reproduced now in 12" versions but Petro Myth has it that either 10" or 10 1/2" were produced several years ago. I just measured mine at 10 1/4". Before I take Scott's word as "gospel" I wanted to solicit other opinions. I also find some flaws with Scott's assumption.

First, Scott is asking for an original for comparison, so he doesn't have an original to go by. Maybe he has never even seen what he considers an "original". Then he says "I've HEARD the blue..."., which sounds like hearsay to me. There just isn't enough concrete evidence here to deem all these signs as fake.

Let me present a scenerio that could have possibly happened, using a smaller regional company besides Golden West. Let's say Stoll Oil Co. ordered 100 porcelain Golen Tip pump plates for their pumps in Louisville only. By the time the signs were made and delivered to their warehouse, negotiations were underway for a buyout from Sinclair. Instead of spending labor and traveling costs to update the signage, the box of signs set there. Sinclair buys Stoll, the box gets regulated to an attic and forgotten. Forward 50 years and a collector buys out the old bulk plant, finding the box of Golden Tip signs. These NOS signs hit the market, the seller gets rich and there are 100 happy owners of a rare sign. Then one person announces that they are all fake since there are no originals to compare them to. The happy buyers are no longer happy and take a big loss on their investment.

Could this have happened with Golden West? Possibly. Now, I'm not running around whinning because I may have bought a repo. I just would like hard evidence substanuating Scott's claim. I have the highest respect for Scott B. and consider him a friend via business transactions. But...I would like to get replies/opinions from some of the other "heavy hitters" in signage. Butch Greer, John Herndon, Ray Seider, John Mancino,and any others that may share their "expertise" on this subject.And please back up your comments if you will.

This topic is started to hopefully put to rest one of the hobby's "petro myths" and is not a public calling out of anyone or is there any need for "bashing". So please refrain from any negative comments that do not contribute to this topic. Thank you all for any comments.

Please use For Sale forums to sell

Please - NO offers to Buy or Sell in this forum category

Statements such as, "I'm thinking about selling this." are considered an offer to sell.
Re: Golden West Pump Plate...Myth? #35969
Tue Feb 07 2006 01:35 PM
Tue Feb 07 2006 01:35 PM
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Santa Fe, NM
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wfort39663 Offline
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Here is a photo of my Golden West pump plate. It measures exactly 10" as was purchased about 6 years ago from a reputable
collector. It has two original gromets and some chiping around a couple of the mounting holes indicative of being mounted at one time. The back is a light gray color.





[This message has been edited by wfort39663 (edited 02-07-2006).]

[This message has been edited by wfort39663 (edited 02-07-2006).]


Bill Fortune
Re: Golden West Pump Plate...Myth? #35970
Tue Feb 07 2006 01:48 PM
Tue Feb 07 2006 01:48 PM
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Guthrie, OK. 73044
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Seth Robbins Offline
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I've always been told that a big group of these were found in.....I think.....San Antonio in a bulk plant. That could be right-on or could be a fairy-tale...I don't know.

Re: Golden West Pump Plate...Myth? #35971
Tue Feb 07 2006 02:14 PM
Tue Feb 07 2006 02:14 PM
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Posts: 1,785
Lodi, CA.
Signal Gas & Oil Offline
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I've always been afraid of these because I don't know the difference and have not been told how too. This goes way back to when we started Known Unmarked Reproductions on this site. The following link is from here. Nobody really replied to this in any way I could learn anything. Ted http://www.oldgas.com/shoptalk/ubb/Forum8/HTML/000012.html

------------------
Ted Pam & Ethyl Roach
Lodi CA.
Looking for Signal, Hancock, Mohawk, Douglas, Gilmore and Richfield
pca-west.org

[This message has been edited by troach (edited 02-07-2006).]


Ted Pam Ethyl & Polly Roach
Lodi CA.
209-210-8971
Looking for Signal, Hancock, Mohawk, Douglas, Gilmore and Richfield
Re: Golden West Pump Plate...Myth? #35972
Tue Feb 07 2006 03:08 PM
Tue Feb 07 2006 03:08 PM
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Posts: 1,095
Collierville, Tn
roger cherry Offline
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Gary has made some real good points here and good comparisions for us to look at. Everyone needs to keep in mind that the possibility of two DIFFERENT sign makers or porcelain shops doing plates for Golden West is a real and accurate possibility. One of the makers may have done them in 10" and the other in 10 1/4 size. Remember, back in the day, they standards were broad and alot of the companies we collect were family owned. If one porcelain maker gave a better quoted price to do 100 plates than the next company alot of times the cheaper price got the business. The problem with saying the term "known original" is who determines it to be known. I still preach the fact that unless a person was there in 1948 to take the piece off the pump and have kept it all this time there is no such thing as a known original. Alot of times we are 99.9% sure and that is good enough for me, but condeming one piece just because it is not like the Jones' is not a good way to determine overall originality. There is a train of thought out there that if only a few exist, and you happen to be the one to own one of the few, and alot more pop up, it would be economically advantagous to discredit them to keep the price of yours up. Think about it. If something is supposed to be pre WWII, then a testing process can be done to see if the paint contains lead sulfate. Anything post WWII, zinc oxide will be present in the paint. I would assume the Golden West plates would be WWII or after so how do you tell?? I don't know and am no expert, just making ramblings I guess.

Re: Golden West Pump Plate...Myth? #35973
Tue Feb 07 2006 04:41 PM
Tue Feb 07 2006 04:41 PM
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Columbus, GA
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Globes and Signs Offline
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Columbus, GA
There are 2 different versions of this pump plate. MOST collectors do not know this! However the ones you see all the time have dark blue mountains and dark blue water. The rare version, there are only about 4 to 5 known have a baby blue or North Carolina blue mountain and water.

The ones that have the baby blue or North Carolina blue are definately real. And I believe that most of the ones you see on the market are real as well......

Now don't go and look at yours and say ohhh mine is a shade different I have one of the really rare ones....STOP NO YOU DON'T!

It's a VERY VERY VERY different color and there is a night and day difference.

Re: Golden West Pump Plate...Myth? #35974
Tue Feb 07 2006 04:57 PM
Tue Feb 07 2006 04:57 PM
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Guthrie, OK. 73044
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Seth Robbins Offline
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If anybody is going to give an educated opinion, it's John, thanks bud!

Re: Golden West Pump Plate...Myth? #35975
Tue Feb 07 2006 05:21 PM
Tue Feb 07 2006 05:21 PM
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Clarksville, Tn. USA
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Gary Drye Offline OP
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Here are some pics of mine. Any opinions?






Re: Golden West Pump Plate...Myth? #35976
Tue Feb 07 2006 05:30 PM
Tue Feb 07 2006 05:30 PM
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Clarksville, Tn. USA
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Gary Drye Offline OP
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Oh yea, I remeasured the sign, this time with my reading glasses on! It's between 10 and 1/16 - 1/8 inches, not 1/4. If that helps.

Re: Golden West Pump Plate...Myth? #35977
Tue Feb 07 2006 06:58 PM
Tue Feb 07 2006 06:58 PM
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Clarksville, Tn. USA
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Gary Drye Offline OP
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Here are some interesting tidbits I received via email from a person that chooses to remain Anonymous and I will respect his wishes. Truth or fiction, the plot thickens! LOL Here are edited/ excerps from his messages:

1. XXXXXXX has an original, I was next to him when
he bought it at auction in circa xx/xx. It has light
blue in the water not the "midnight blue" that all of
the others have. This sign had a very pale almost
white back (if memory serves me correct) It looks
totaly different, also had a couple of chips none of
the others have any flaws.

2. I don't know how many different versions have been
reprododuced, but I know for fact on one batch. They
were made in the late 70's by a few old line and
respected XXXX collectors at Southwestern Porcelain
in Sand Springs, OK. Their original intentions were
not corrupt, one had the sign and the two others
wanted it, so they made around 25 (so they say)This
was in a time when values were nominal on this stuff
and colletors were few and far between and trading was
common and it wasn't as competitive as it is today.
This repo now 20-25 years old can show some age. It
has a DARK GREY OR DARK BLUE back and is VERY heavy
and the stenciling is very definite. Water is dark
blue and grommets are brass. Unfortunately these
originally reproduced versions did find there way to
the market and spread throughout the country and w/
the exception of a select group of "oldtimers" no one
has any reason to know this story. That is all
factual, point 3. is my conjecture.

3. I have seen another version w/ a light grey back
and not has heavy as the above refrenced version. It
is my opinion that this is a later reproduction made
again at Southwestern porcelain in Sand Springs OK
(now defucnt) or possibly in Canada. I have a very
strong ASSUMPTION as to who had these made.

Another message:

Yours is the one produced in the late 1970's by SW
Porcelain in Sand Springs, OK. The tell tale sign is
the yellow paint smudge and the color of the back,
most of the ones made in the late 1970's had some
yellow smudge or smudging on the back.

I went back and read those who added to the thread:
XXXX is exactly right and did a better job of
describing than I. XXXX's is IMO a later
repro with the light grey back and I CAUTIOUSLY share
my OPINION that XXXXXXX had these (light grey back
signs) made in the late 80's-early 90's by SW
porcelain (he used them ALOT) or possibly made in
Canada. I have heard the story that XXX repeated
about the bulk plant in San Antonio, and again I
CAUTIOUSLY share my OPINION that the bulk plant story
was fabricated by XXXXXX.

I would invite you to share anything anomously that we
have discussed. There are several of these floating
around and they commonly trade for 1000-2000 and even
on a couple occasions around 3000, most guys are hung
pretty good on these and I don't want to be the
"killed messenger" telling everyone that they are not
real nor do I want dealers to dispute/argue with me.

I know who made the first ones and think they made
more like 50 rather than 25. Their intentions were
truely honest, one is a "dormant" collector, one
deceased and one is somewhat active. One of the three
began selling them in the 80's and I don't know how he
represented them but he hasn't had any in a while to
the best of my knowledge and when brought up is
totally mum, I only know the story b/c when I was
starting in my mid-late teenage years (mid xxx) I
acquired one and went to each of them for advice, they
liked me and and always took enjoyment in "helping the
kid", two shared the story and one said he didn't know
much about them only that that there were real and
repro ones and he couldn't tell the difference....but
to "be careful". There were several pieces made in
the Tulsa area in the 80's by a handfull of
individuals, can't prove anything but have been told
of few things to "stay" away from by a few of the guys
who have very solid information

One final thought, this has always bothered me about
the sign, if it's a pump sign why is there only
(guessing) 2-3 globes in existence and 75-100? signs,
NOS find or not that doesn't seem right more globes
should have survived. We are talking about a tiny
independent marketer from San Antonio w/ very small
amount of stations.

It's just logical that the 4-5 baby blue ones are the
only originals besides the fact that I know that some
were reproduced at one point.

Re: Golden West Pump Plate...Myth? #35978
Tue Feb 07 2006 07:17 PM
Tue Feb 07 2006 07:17 PM
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Santa Fe, NM
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wfort39663 Offline
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Very interesting. I have also wondered about the authenticity of these signs. Luckily I don't have a huge investment in the sign. If it is a repro it is one that has some value. Here is a photo of the back of mine. It is definitely different than Gary's.



[This message has been edited by wfort39663 (edited 02-07-2006).]


Bill Fortune
Re: Golden West Pump Plate...Myth? #35979
Tue Feb 07 2006 07:33 PM
Tue Feb 07 2006 07:33 PM
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Posts: 1,095
Collierville, Tn
roger cherry Offline
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Gary, your source needs to come out of the closet and let us know what he knows. It is real hard to believe someone when they will not say what they know. I do understand about not wanting to make everyone mad, but if it is legit info then we need to know it first hand. Everyone on this site is grown and can take it wheather or not we believe the tale. I don't think anyone is going to belittle the person for trying to help everyone if that is TRUELY what they are trying to do. Seth made a good point in another post. It went something like "Finding someone without a vested interest in the item (wheather dealer or collector) is very hard to do".

Re: Golden West Pump Plate...Myth? #35980
Tue Feb 07 2006 07:51 PM
Tue Feb 07 2006 07:51 PM
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Santa Paula, Calif
Dick Bennett Offline
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Lets not pressure Gary to reveal the names of those that want to remain anonymous.

It IS always better to hear it from the source,than 2nd hand.
DB

Re: Golden West Pump Plate...Myth? #35981
Tue Feb 07 2006 08:09 PM
Tue Feb 07 2006 08:09 PM
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Santa Paula, Calif
Dick Bennett Offline
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Mine measures 10" even. The back is the same light color that's on the front [kindof a light light yellow, not white, w/ a glaze finish].

I don't have much in it, got it when things were cheap'r.
DB

Re: Golden West Pump Plate...Myth? #35982
Tue Feb 07 2006 08:17 PM
Tue Feb 07 2006 08:17 PM
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Norman, OK
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DCpate Offline
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Interesting topic.

I've seen these signs in person and on the internet and they are always perfect.

Reminds me of those oval Gargoyle signs which pop up on Ebay all the time. Those are always perfect and I think they are definitely repops.

But a huge load of NOS Cosden 10" ethyl pump plates are also floating around and I believe those are original.

Who knows... Funny about the hidden sources though...


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