Can anyone get me in contact with Gary London who made the reproduction labels for Prest-O-Lite "B" size tanks in 2010. I have 1913 and a 1920 tanks being restored for museum display. The tanks are empty and have been painted a mat gray color. I ordered a set of silver labels from a restoration supply house, thinking they would be black to go on a silver tank. No, they were silver lettering which will not show up on a gray tank. I think they need to be black lettering.
I've read on here one time that the original tanks had copper letters. The copper tarnished and looked black. Restoration Supply sells the copper colored decals if that would work for you.
I sent Paul Gary's e-mail address
To the best of my research and the tanks I saw at Hershey this year, the original tanks were steel with copper plate followed by another layer of gray metallic plate; tin, cad or nickel? To me it appears that then a silk screen or stencil with the Prest-O-Lite label information is used in applying a chemical that turns or oxidizes the gray metallic layer black and thus labels the tank with black lettering. WIth time and wear this black letter information flakes or wears off in small bits and allows the copper to show through. So, an new original tank should be metallic gray with black lettering. A well used tank will have black/copper lettering. See photo of a used 1913 Mercer Raceabout tank.
Prest-O-Lite tanks were constructed of deep-drawn steel shells , plated first with copper , than masked with a Prest-O-Lite decal to keep the next plating applied , nickle , from adhering to the copper plating where the decal existed . The resulting Prest-O-Lite decal is exposed copper plating , which quickly turns dark brown , surrounded by a nickle plated tank as a background .