Vintage Advertising Thermometers

Collectors adore these vintage advertising thermometers thermometer signs that hang in kitchens, homes and garages. The value of antique advertising thermometers varies depending on subject matter, size and condition. Older lithographed and enameled advertising thermometers can sell for up to $250. Other types of antique thermometers, such as those promoting tobacco, soda or oil and gas, can also bring in around $100.

In rural areas where local service providers like plumbers, gas stations and five-and-dime stores could be hard to find, travel salesmen often brought tin thermometers for the owners of country cafes, gas stations and diners. These gifts would promote the goods or services while hanging up in the general store or local cafe, drawing customers to the business. Today, modern thermometers imitate these early designs to evoke a sense of Americana.

Advertisements of the Past: Collectible Vintage Advertising Thermometers

Often a thermometer would feature a relaxing scene, like this circa 1931 tin sign for the Tilden Dairy and Delicatessen at 73-20 Austin Street in Forest Hills, or a nostalgic cityscape, such as this carved wood-framed thermometer for Continental Wine and Liquor in Rego Park. In this case, the image includes a Tudor cottage and lush garden, as well as a vintage prefix phone number with an Art Deco frame.

Many old thermometers are now collectibles because of their interesting themes or images. Themes can range from famous personalities, including Betty Boop and the Three Stooges, to iconic automobile brands, including Esso, Texaco and Mobil. Automobiles, motorcycles and car parts remain popular subjects for both old and new thermometers.

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