At the Ocala Show, I said that I had a person picked for the Collector of the Issue Article, and boy I did not let you down. It was difficult to keep this to myself but I know you will be impressed.
Joe and I have been to his house a couple of times now and I still cannot believe my eyes. I have taken approximately two dozen pictures and have not come close to showing you 1/4th of it.
Gill and his wife Lorraine moved to Fort Lauderdale from New York in 1966. He is now retired from IBM. He started collecting advertising in 1973. His first piece of advertising was a large metal Sunbeam Bread sign that is hung in their kitchen to this day. The Collection has mushroomed since then. Gillís first love is Anheuser Busch and his wife collects Bordenís Elsie items and Insurance signs since she works in the Insurance field.
Their house is not to be believed. The 3,300 square foot home is better than any Advertising Museum that I have ever seen. The home contains literally thousands of pieces of every kind of Advertising, in every room, nook and cranny, that you can imagine. There are items in the closets, pantries, hallways, bathrooms, front porch and even both yards. A complete bar, back bar and pool table are in what once was the living room.
He said his favorite piece is a large round Elsie metal button sign that has never been photographed or documented by any other Bordenís Collector. He has turned down a substantial amount for this unique piece.
He loves the unique and unusual as long as it advertises something, or should I say advertises anything. He has two early Barber Chairs, approximately a dozen neon signs, Too many tin signs to count, enough lighted signs to throw the Power Company for a spin, dozens of quality back bar pieces, eighteen different golf bags that advertise a variety of products, and he does not even play golf. He has T.O.C.s, Steins, mugs, tap knobs, and yes even beer cans. He even has thirty different Budweiser silk ties. A smile came to his face when he spoke about Bob Koch who was a dear friend and would come over often to see the collection.
Going to their home is like a day at an amusement Park. It is fun and exciting. Each time I have been there, I saw something that I did not see the time before. His collection extends from Pre Prohibition to the current and believe me, everything in between. Their dogs are even named " Michelob " and " Bud Dry ".
If you ever get the opportunity to go to his place, for God sakes do not miss it. It will be an experience that you will not soon forget. They are super people and love company, especially fellow collectors who share their passion.
Gill is a loyal Gator Trader and will love to talk collecting with you. Be sure to say " Hi " to him at the next Show. He is an interesting person and a pleasure to talk to. Who knows, you might get an invitation to the Gill and Lorraine Advertising Museum.
It is going to be difficult to top this one but I know there are other quality collections out there and I want to see them.