Walthers Cornerstone - Wadhams Gas Station Built Up HO
Item Number: 933-2854
You Pay: $59.21
You Save: 15%
3-1/8 x 2-1/2 x 2-5/8" 7.9 x 6.5 x 6.7cm
Wadhams Oil and Grease Company was one of hundreds of small companies that emerged in the early 20th century to capitalize on cheap gasoline and the need for roadside service. In 1916 Harger W. Dodge, the son-in-law of founder Edward A. Wadhams, saw the opportunity to expand the company. Dodge hired prominent Milwaukee architect Alexander Eschweiler to design Wadhams gas stations. Eschweiler's pagoda-roofed design reflects a style inspired by Japanese culture and made popular by the World's Fairs in 1876, 1893 and 1904. These eye-catching gas stations were an early example of using architecture as a marketing device to form brand identity.
Approximately 100 stations were built in the upper Midwest between 1917 and 1930. Each station was unique but all featured a distinctive pagoda-style tile roof made of stamped metal. Most had large plate-glass windows on the front, multi-paned side windows and a gable with a leaded-glass W. The elaborate terra cotta pagoda roof, black walls and yellow trim made the stations instantly recognizable.
In 1930 Wadhams was purchased by Vacuum Oil, which merged with Socony in 1931 and later became Mobil. The stations were eventually repainted in Mobil's red and white color scheme. Only a handful remain, all serving other uses.
The West Allis, Wisconsin station that our model is based on was built in 1927 and operated by Frank Seneca from 1938 until he retired in 1978. It was restored in 2000 to its 1950s state and designated a historic landmark in 2004.
Although Wadhams was a regional company, examples of Japanese-inspired architecture exist throughout the country. This distinctive structure also makes a great coffee shop, gift shop or other small business. The fencing, lampposts and gas pump island are separate pieces so you can arrange them to fit your layout.
* Patterned After West Allis, WI Gas Station * Classic Bumblebee Scheme * "Stained Glass" W Logo * Unique Pagoda Roof * Separate Gas Pump Island * Four Non-Operating Lampposts * Includes Decorated Picket Fencing * 1920s Style "Clockface" Gas Pumps
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