488: One-of-a-Kind Oilzum Reinhold Studio Show Display
Built by The Reinhold Studio in Revere, Mass. and identified as such with original metal tag. Built especially for display by the Oilzum Oil Company at the 1933-34 World’s Fair in Chicago. The fair’s theme was A Century of Progress, so this display depicts multiple modes of transportation of the time including an airplane, Zeppelin, train, hauling trucks, luxury town cars, passenger cars, convertibles, and race cars. The theme of the piece is “From Ground to Garage”, showing the oil wells, to the factory, then to the garage. The display features interior lights behind the oil cans and moving tracks or belts, which depict the train taking the crude oil to the factory. The next track has the trucks moving the oil from the factory to the garages. The next two moving tracks have the cars leaving the garage. These belts show several of the car body styles of the time, plus racecars that Oilzum was so well known to sponsor. The display includes two anniversary cans mounted in the upper corners featuring glass tubes with spiral oil filled shafts which simulate oil being poured from the cans when the display is operational. The cabinet of the display also serves as its own handling container and has been repainted in its original olive drab green with carrying handles on both ends. The cabinet is stenciled true to the original stencil which states “Keep Upright..Glass…Value $300.00. Twin front door panels easily remove to reveal the display as shown in catalog. Inside the back of the cabinet are it being history, also. It contains the original notes and instructions to those salesman and reps who powered up the display at the World’s Fair. These instructions even include extra parts for maintenance, such as an extra oil tube and shim stock for the motors.
This piece is an incredible survivor of automobile history from the early days of the 20th Century. The display has been cleaned, with minor retouching in just a few small spots on the tin cutout images. Only light soiling and dust, with some oil stains on the lower cabinet portions are evident currently. The motors and belts have been maintained to great working order, and the control lever on the back of the piece has a variable speed for the traffic. To display two different grades of oil that were used in the thirties, the oil in the tubes has been replaced with two different viscosities. The display uses bright and vivid colors including blue, which was unusual for Oilzum.
Condition (Excellent). Size 56" x 37 - 1/2" x 14 - 3/4".