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Consider this your subculture of the day: Petroliana.

It’s the auctioneer’s term for vintage filling-station gear like this 40s Mobilgas pump—and a whole complement of it is going up for auction tomorrow. The haul includes a dozen vintage pumps, a handful of oil dispensers, a stuffed badger and a ’31 Ford Model A (more gushing here), collected by a Texas oil tycoon over the past few decades.

It’s not the most useful stuff (unless you’re putting a home garage together), but it calls up the era of boat-sized sedans and cheap gas better than just about anything. And if you really want to see it in action, you can always retrofit it to electric.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom