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Large, double-sided national benzole tin sign

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  • £720.00
  • €805 Euro
  • $869 US Dollar

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Item Description

National Benzole was founded in London in 1919 and the company is an interesting player in early automotive history. Benzole is a coal-tar product consisting mainly of benzene and toluene and was initially used as a 'motor spirit' - an alternative to petroleum spirits. Use in ammunitions as well as fuelling engines meant there was mass production of Benzole during WW1 and an excess of it remained after the war - a group of entrepeneurs saw this opportunity and the National Benzole Company was formed. There were concerns that neat Benzole was too potent for the average engine and these concerns coupled with coal strikes causing supply issues lead to the company supplying a 50/50 Benzole + Petroleum mix. It was this product that the company would supply for the coming decades.

This double-sided tin sign dates back to the era when a petrol station would supply a choice of brands and each would produce advertising to help promote their product. Mr Mercury - the company's logo was introduced in 1928 and was redsigned with a more modernist-angular look in the late '50s. This sign probably dates to the late 1940s/early '50s. It's a particularly large example of it's type, double-sided with two hanging loops on the upper edge it would have probably swung from a post on a bigger forecourt.

Being a litho printed alloy sign (as opposed to enamelled), it does show more signs of wear. The outer edges of both faces, esp. the lower edge have fairly heavy paint loss. One side (pictured second). Both sides have staining running down from the metal hanging loops, the side pictured second has darker staining than the side pictured first. Both sides have some other areas of loss and some surface scratching along with discolouration but generally the colours are bright and the sign remains fantastically bold. A striking piece of automobilia at a fraction of the price of it's enamel counterparts.

The sign measures 1m high / wide and the hanging loops are 3cm thick.

Item Info



Seller Location

London, London

Item Dimensions

H: 100cm W: 100cm D: 3cm



Item Location

Margate, England

Seller Location

London, London

Item Location

Margate, England

Seller Contact No

+44 (0)7703104788