Our Board

RMCA Leadership Individual Overview

Many of you have never met all of our board members, which sometimes makes it hard to make an educated decision, come election time. Here is your chance to get to know those who effect our organization’s business.

Name: Ian Byrne
City & State: Milton Keynes, England
Position(s): Board Member; Webmaster for Petroleum Maps Catalog

1972 Bell/EP road map of Lincolnshire

1972 Bell/EP road map of Lincolnshire

When did you start collecting maps and why?
Like many collectors there was never a real “start” – I had always held onto maps I found interesting (in other words, every map I ever owned) and never discarded them. But about 25 years ago I realized that oil company maps were no longer on sale in service stations (it happened later in Europe!) and discovered that you could find neat old maps for just a few pennies in some second hand bookshops. At first I was very selective, only picking ones I considered unusual, but later on I would but just about any oil company issue if the price and condition were right.

My first love of maps goes back even further: aged about 5 I was given a book of town plans associated with the “Milk Race” (a long defunct bicycle tour around Britain) to draw on, as – unusually – they were printed on one side of the paper only. But I liked the maps so much that I started drawing imaginary suburbs and extensions to the cyclists’ routes; later I drew whole imaginary cities with fantastic road networks.

What is your current focus of types of maps (oil, officials, AAA, foreign, etc) you want to continue to collect?
Oil company and service station maps, world-wide.

How many maps do you have in your collection?
Around 9,000, including some items of associated ephemera, such as motoring tour log books. Five-ninths are from Europe, one third from the USA and one-ninth from the rest of world. Perhaps surprisingly, I have more maps from Germany than I do from my home country, Britain. In all I have branded maps from 99 countries. Although there are over 550 brands or brand combinations listed in my database, the number of distinct brands is probably somewhere around 450.

What method or type of file do you have and how do you store/file them in order to know what you have in your inventory of maps?
They are mainly kept in steel filing cabinets (atlases tend to be segregated). My map list is in a DOS database, that allows fast wildcard searches.

In regards to our website what would you like to see in the future?
I’m working with colleagues to upgrade the information on the petroleum map catalog and hope that we’ll be able to get thumbnail covers of almost 1,000 different oil companies who have issued maps in North America alone. (My own petrolmaps website has 228 brands from Europe.)

What suggestions do you have for someone to consider stepping up into a leadership role within RMCA?
Write an article for the Legend, Blog on our Facebook page, submit a page for the website…

My favorite/favourite, why it is and how you obtained it.
This is a 1972 Bell/EP map of Lincolnshire. Bell was a small independent supplier of small rural stations with under 50 locations; almost half carried the branding of EP, the secondary brand of Murphy Oil Co (which mainly used the Murco name in Britain). No other small independent that I know of ever issued a map in Britain. This one was drawn by a local artist and is restricted to the single county where most of their service stations were. Like all the best maps it marks their locations on the map. It was an imaginative attempt to raise their profile and – through listing recommended pubs – to encourage motorists to seek out the small villages where most Bell or EP stations were located. They asked for comments for the next edition – but the oil crisis intervened and this remains the only known edition of this unusual map. A few years later, Bell switched to the Avia cooperative brand, before selling out to a larger independent, UK. Although Bell were based in my wife’s home town, this map turned up in a flea market that used to be held in the town where we currently live, over 100 miles away, for the princely sum of 40c (at current exchange rates).

Name: Tom Sveum
City & State: Oakdale, MN
Position(s): Board Member

I started collecting oil maps on family vacations to Glacier, the Seattle World’s Fair, and California in the late 50’s and 60’s. I continued making road trips with friends in college. For about 10 years I also mailed away for officials from the US and Canada. I was happy to learn that others also collected road maps when I found out about the RMCA and joined in the late 90’s. At first when friends in the RMCA asked me what I collected I said–all road maps. It took me several years and annual map shows to realize that the maps that meant the most to me were oils from the “golden age of maps” (1955-1973) that showed the locations of gas stations listed or with symbols on the map. I also now collect more recent location maps given out by Sheetz, Love’s, and even fast food and motel chains. I have put together a list of maps with locations that now is in the Member’s section of our website.

Name: Mark Greaves
City & State: Wheat Ridge, CO
Position(s): Board Member; Newsletter (Legend) Editor

I became interested in collecting old road maps while working at Rand McNally in the early 1990s, and joined the RMCA shortly after it was formed.  I have attended many of the Map Expos, served as Secretary for several years and have been editor of the RMCA newsletter “The Legend” since 2008.  In addition I have done extensive work on the Official Maps Master List, and the Petroleum Map Catalog.  As director, I hope to help the RMCA to expand and continue to provide valuable information to the road map collecting community.

Name: Dave Leach
City & State: Lemoyne, PA
Position(s): Board Member

OK, first, I’m as old as Rand McNally’s accordion fold… That out of the way I began collecting when visiting a cousin in Florida who had a box of maps he had been collecting.  his dad made him give one of them to me, so of course I chose the Sinclair Tour Kit, the one with the cartoon style US map and characters.  I think I was 11.  I have a wide range of collecting interests including foreign and special issue/event type maps. I’ve been on the RMCA Board before, did the Legend for almost many of our early years, and am now coordinating our exhibit at the AACA Museum in Hershey, PA.  I anticipate that my board presence will mostly be involving that exhibit, and the special exhibit we will have there in 2020. I strongly believe that we need to attract members and collectors who arrived on the scene after the gas station maps had vanished.  I believe that the AACA involvement will help to a large extent, but there may be other ways we can work toward that end with local museums, libraries or schools as individual collectors.  I also believe that we can, and should, hold small regional collectors meets in various places. I WILL BE ASKING THAT MEMBERS FIND WAYS TO CONTRIBUTE – THAT RMCA NOT BE THE SAME GROUP OF ACTIVE MEMBERS!

Name: Jim Wakefield
State: California
Position(s): Director

Monarch Diamond 1911 road map

Monarch Diamond 1911 road map

When did you start collecting maps and why?

I started collecting maps when I was a teen in the early 1970s. Before that, my main interest was building model buildings from scratch. Many of my favorite buildings were gas stations (I still have a few of the best). In the process of honing my model building technique, I discovered that if went to gas stations and picked up free road maps , I could I cut them up and use their logos as signage on the models that I built. One day in 1973, everything changed. On that day, my grandmother gave me a large pile of what I thought were really old gas station maps with old fashioned logos on them. I found these maps to be far too old and interesting for me to cut them up for model signage. That was the day I started my road map collection.

What is your current focus of types of maps (oil, officials, AAA, foreign, etc) you want to continue to collect?The focus of my collection is North American oil company maps. Many people think I’m crazy for trying, but my goal has always been, and still is, to collect one of every single North American oil company map that was ever issued.

How many maps do you have in your collection?
Over 30,000 oil company maps, and still growing.

What method or type of file do you have, and how do you store/file them in order to know what you have in your inventory of maps?

I have far too many maps for me to attempt to remember them without assistance. Therefore, I created a detailed system to keep track of them. I have entered all of my maps in a computerized database program, in which they are indexed by company, date, geographic location, and map code, and stored accordingly. When I get a new map, I first enter it into the computer database, then I place it in an individual poly sleeve for protection, and I finally store it with other maps in my collection, which are kept in rows in banker’s boxes, all filed according to the index in the database. I also keep a printed list of all my maps in the database, which I take with me whenever I go hunting for maps. It is currently almost 500 pages long. In addition to these, I also created a gallery of map images to help me keep track of what I have. It contains all unique cover and rear designs of maps in my collection. These are organized by company and date.

In regards to our website what would you like to see in the future?

When I am out looking for road maps, I am often asked if there are any books on how to collect road maps. Unfortunately, I have to tell them that there are no books on how to collect road maps currently in print. I think that is the number one item needed to help build this hobby. In the absence of a guide book, I would like us to add material to the website to help fill that need, so that the website will eventually contain sufficient information to guide a person who is interested in collecting maps on how to do that.

What suggestions do you have for someone to consider stepping up into a leadership role within RMCA?

Make yourself and your interests known to the club. Map collecting is by nature a solitary pursuit. You can’t expect the Board to know about you and your desire to take on a leadership role if they don’t know anything about you or your collecting interests. Start out by asking questions and sharing your knowledge with other members on the RMCA email list. Next, do something for the club–an easy way to do this is write a short article on your favorite map for the Legend. If you are serious about wanting to take on a leadership role in the RMCA, a particularly important step is to attend the annual RMCA Map Expo, where you will not only meet map collectors from all over the world, but you will get to know most of the members who are currently running the club. If the Map Expo is too far away for you to travel to, you can also organize and/or attend a regional map swap meet, such as the fall 2012 West Coast Map Swap Meet. Finally, and most importantly, volunteer to help on one or more RMCA major projects, such as the one of the master map lists, and/or the website.

Now is your opportunity to show off your favorite/favourite, why it is, and how you obtained it.

What excites me most about map collecting is finding a map that nobody knew ever existed. In map collecting, this happens more often than one would expect. For me, it is the ever present possibility of making such a “find” that really sets road map collecting apart from other collecting hobbies. One of my favorite maps, as well as my best find, is a booklet of strip maps of California and Nevada issued by Monarch Oil Refining Co. in 1911. This map is very special because, prior to my acquisition of it, the oldest North American oil company issued map known to exist dated to 1912. My map is the oldest dated North American oil company road map that I know of, as well as the only known copy of it still in existence.

Name: Walt Wimer
City & State: Butler, PA
Position(s): Board Member

I got interested in gas stations and gasoline logos on a trip from Pennsylvania to Florida with my parents in March of 1949 at age 9. The road map collection followed sometime later that year or in 1950.

I only collect oil company issues (world wide) and a few other miscellaneous maps that strike my fancy or have good gasoline ads.

I currently have over 5,800 maps in my collection.

I have a rather simple inventory on my computer, but no spreadsheets or anything of that nature. I collect by cover graphics, so don’t worry any about having every state or year for every brand. One of each cover design is fine for me. Much of my collection is stored in an old dresser in my office along with several other drawers and a few plastic tubs mostly for my foreign maps, all within sight of my computer. Maps are stored by brands and I can find just about any map in a matter of minutes by memory. While filing by brands I also “sub-divide” by types of oil company. All Major brands are in four drawers, with the independent refiners and private brands in two others. The foreign maps are scattered, but I can still find about anything quickly by memory.

I really don’t have a favorite map……………Too many I like!!!

Pink-o-Red Gasoline map advertisement

President Gary Spaid’s favorite map

Our Officers

  • President: Gary Spaid
  • Vice-President: Kirk Perucca
  • Secretary: Stan Arnett
  • Treasurer: Edwin Patterson
  • Newsletter Editor: Mark Greaves
  • Facebook Coordinator: Judy Aulik
  • Membership Coordinator: Gary Spaid
  • Registered Agent: Jon Roma