Oil can signs are a nostalgic throwback to a time when life was simpler and gasoline was plentiful. These signs were used to identify gas stations and often served as a beacon for weary travelers. Though they may seem like a quaint relic of the past, they have a deep-rooted history that reaches back to the early 20th century.

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Oil Can Signs can be an effective marketing tool for any business. Oil can signs are an old-fashioned way of grabbing attention and have been around for centuries. The oil can design was originally used to signify the importance of oil in the early days of cars.

At the turn of the century, automobiles already had a foothold in the U.S. but fuel stations were few and far between. To attract customers, station owners would display an oil can-shaped sign on their premises, usually illuminated with a few light bulbs. These signs often featured catchy phrases or images that encouraged customers to “fill up” and “travel on.”

When WWII came to America’s shores, metal was rationed and cheaper materials were used to make oil can signs. Colorful porcelain-enameled steel signs became popular during the 1940s, as they were more resistant to weather. Posters and other artwork were incorporated into these signs to attract a wider range of drivers. Some of the most iconic signs featured company logos, which were often painted or formed from porcelain.