A.S.I. - Auto Service Industry show

From at least 1946 through the 50’s the Automotive Service Industry Show at Navy Pier in Chicago was the main place for suppliers to show off their new products. The shows/conventions were highly attended; around 21,000+ people in their peak years of 1947 and 48 and 500-600 manufacturers . There was no show in 1949 and by 1950 the numbers began to drop off. (16,000)

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The Alemite display booth was well attended, with a merchandiser displayed right in the center. Some displays cost north of $10,000 at the time, and companies used everything from key rings to smoking pipes to attract visitors.

 Entrance to the 1950 ASI show (image from Motor Age magazine, Jan. 1951)

Entrance to the 1950 ASI show (image from Motor Age magazine, Jan. 1951)

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The Shure Sales Promotion Manager, Stan Lenehan, at the International A.S.I. show with one of the first Shure Mfg. Merchandisers

The ARO service merchandiser

With only two pictures of their elusive work stations, this ARO cabinet may be one of the more rare units out there.

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Possessing an indented single stainless trim piece across the top of the cabinets and a study center bench, the ARO merchandiser appears to be able to take a variety of different center sections. Much of the benches details, like hinges, handles and proportions, tend to have me believe that they may have been built out of surplus Lincoln Engineering units. If you have one of these workbenches, please reach out to me.

 1949 Buick Lubricare photo ad

1949 Buick Lubricare photo ad

1948 Lincoln sectional merchandiser

In this Lincoln Engineering bulletin sent to us by Mike Kalstad; you can get a glimpse of one of their more rare configurations.

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You could order any combination you desired of these shorter work station setups. 

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We have yet to see one with its side cabinets intact.  Perhaps many were ordered as a stand-alone bench, or they were repurposed over the years.

Sun Test Equipment Wall Cabinet

We had never seen one of these unique cabinets in person before, so we decided to bring it on back with us.

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The Diagnosis Cabinet was built around 1948-1951 and allowed the mechanic to tuck away their Sun Test equipment.  It came with a writing desk in the center and a top illuminated glass display.  We love the curved cast metal end caps.  Below is the original catalog ad from 1950.

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This is not a small unit.  Measuring in at 13 feet wide, 17 inches deep, and 7 and a half feet tall.  Here is cabinet as found in its original mechanics garage.

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The exceptional Kent-Moore Turret model bench

For many years we have longed to receive any conformation that Kent-Moore actually produced this Work Station with round sliding side-cabinets.

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Only possessing literature, and small hints at the bottom of Motor Age ads, we began to accept that we may never see one in the wild...

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...until a new acquaintance was made, with stories to tell and images to share.

With a huge thank you to Greg Dravis,

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We present you with the Kent-Moore "Dual-Turret" Merchandiser

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In the same week that we finally had photo proof of this model; this single Turret image showed up in Texas.

The Work Station that got us started...

1949 Alemite

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I found this merchandiser years ago and purchased it.  The fact that there was not much information on these workbenches online, is the reason we started collecting vintage literature and photos.  This began our quest to uncover the full history of these different models.

1948 All Original Graco has a new home

We recently sold off this complete Merchandiser.

It is still the only Graco we have seen with the original, beveled, dealer glass intact.  If you have one, we would love to hear about it.

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A complete Lube gun set went along with it.

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