Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Collection Development/Program/Exhibit Suggestions

Jim Draeger and Mark Speltz gave a breezy, informative, and-well-received presentation at yesterday's "History Sandwiched In" brown bag lunch series at the Wisconsin Historical Society Museum.

From the WHS website: The companion volume to the Wisconsin Public Television documentary of the same name, Fill 'er Up visits sixty Wisconsin gas stations that are still standing today and chronicles the history of these humble yet ubiquitous buildings. The book tells the larger story of the gas station's place in automobile culture and its evolution in tandem with American history, as well as the stories of the individuals influenced by the gas stations in their lives.

Credit for the beautiful color photography goes to Mark Fay, who traveled more than 5000 miles to capture the 60 buildings in their current state. Fay is currently exhibiting his work, including some of the gas station photos, at the L. E. Phillips Memorial Library in Eau Claire through October 14.

The cover photo showcases a beautifully restored 1931 Texaco gas station, now a body shop, in Independence, Wisconsin. The gas pumps are purely decorative, a birthday gift from the building owner's wife, according to Draeger.

You might also want to read Jim and Mark's blog, Fuelish Thoughts.

A listing of Fill'er Up events is found here.

The September 29 "Conversations with Larry Meiller" (link to audio) features Jim Draeger and Mark Speltz.

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