Skip to comments.Golden Age of Gas Stations
Posted on 03/20/2011 1:33:45 PM PDT by P.O.E.
(snip)...I thought it might be fun to relive that long past era when gas stations were truly service stations with a look at some of the major gasoline brands as seen through some of their old marketing photos. Gas station architecture is a fascinating genre unto itself, ranging from crude, early stations with curbside pumps to the elaborate mini-Roman temples of the 1930s. Our focus here will be on stations from the 1960s, for two reasons first, a decent number of them still exist, albeit with heavy modifications and rarely under their original brands, and secondly, Im sure that some of you remember these great stations in their heyday. (snip)
(Excerpt) Read more at pleasantfamilyshopping.blogspot.com ...
Always loved the “Sinclair” gas station sign with the brontosaurus when I was a kid.
Interesting, thanks. I remember buying gas at 19.9 cents/gal during a gas war in the mid ‘60’s... and worked at a Clark Super 100 station.
I worked at a Sinclair in Cleveland in the 60s as a teen.
We really did do full service back then.
Most everybody paid with cash. I think we took credit cards but it was very uncommon.
We still have drinking glasses they used to give away
They would wash the windows and check the oil at the ones we went to...remember $5 would fill up that 55 Buick
We didn`t even know what a Muzzie was
I got gas for $0.13 9/10 during a gas war in the San Fernando Valley about 1954-55. Hard to believe time has passed by so fast!
I remember my dad rolling down the window, handing out a bill and saying 'Give me a buck's worth of regular'. Now- if you can even find a station that'll pump it for you- they'd just smirk and come back with a shot glass full of gasoline.
Now that my nostalgia has been triggered I can remember the Richfield gas stations here in California. They would give out decals of an eagle. Kids would put the eagle decals on their bicycle seats. This was about 1948-50. Richfield later became part of ARCO.
Being born in ‘66 I barely remember full service stations,
There was one here in my town until just a year or two ago, but it cost more to go there than a self service. I remember gas at 55 cents a gallon, and my old dad filling our 60 impala up at a Hess station.
Somehow (by the grace of God) I managed to “survive” nuclear test fall-out, leaded gasoline fumes, playing with blobs of mercury from broken thermometers, drinking Lake Erie water, and eating Lake Erie fish every Friday in Lent.
Appreciate this. One thing I always used to enjoy was the architectural variety of the decades, whether regarding gas stations, grocery stores, five-and-dimes or whatnot. From the 1920s to 30s/40s/50s/60s, everything from each decade had such a different, distinct style and ambiance. And when I was a kid, you could find examples of each all still around, co-existing. It just made for an endlessly fascinating backdrop from a visual perspective. But nowadays, that seems wiped away, taken over by a blocky Wal-Mart/quickie-mart style sameness as far as the eye can see, which I frankly find rather depressing.
In mid Michigan in the 60s there was a brand called “Bay”.
Supposedly their gas was a byproduct of some industrial process at Dow Chemical.
They always had the lowest prices and sparked “gas wars”.
Urban Blend Cafe in Oakland, CA (333 Broadway) and Espresso Roma Corp in Berkeley, CA (1549 Hopkins Street) are both former service stations converted to coffeehouses. The Espresso Roma one appears to date from the 1930s (still has that streamlined Art Deco style).
In 1960, the average national salary was around $4,000. Today, the average salary is around $41,000. In terms of purchasing power and wages, gas is up slightly, but not as much as we tend to think.
One of the coolest memories I have of the gas stations of the 60’s was the stuffed-animal-like tiger tail that my mom got with a fillup at Exxon??? was it? It had a loop that you placed around the neck of the gas tank fillup and closed the door on the loop, leaving the tiger in your tank showing.
Up until about six or seven years ago, there was a 1940s style rural gas station along Highway 395 in Walker, California with dirt driveways next to the pumps. I filled up there many times in the past. The building is still there but the pumps are gone.
I remember scrapping together 50cents to put gas in the jalopy so we could ride all night from one car hop(remember them?) to another and hang out. As I recall .50 got you about 2 gallons sometimes more if there was a gas war going on(remember THOSE!) That was enough to get you about 25 miles or so in those gas guzzlers we drove.
Hey buddy, where’s my Green Stamps?
Inflatable Dino toy?
Cleaning the windshield with Coke (while travelling South of the Mason-Dixon Line).
Free Air for your tires.
Toothless perverts eyeing your mother’s legs while they cleaned your windshield...
Ordinarily during 1954-55 regular gas was around $0.19 9/10 to $0.21 9/10 if my memory serves me correctly. The $0.13 price quoted was during a “gas war.” I worked in a restaurant next door to a standard station and made $1.00/hour as a bus boy.
According to the inflation calculator at the Federal Reserve Website for Minneapolis, $0.20 in 1954 prices comes out to $1.64 in 2011 prices. We are getting socked for gas.
Can you remember a time when you could trust your car to the man who wore the star?
I worked at a Gulf station after I got out of the service in the 80s.
Full service, and that meant washing windows, checking oil, transmission fluid, tires and what ever the person wanted checked.
It was a good job. Pay wasnt bad, got tips and free auto repair advice the the mechinics. Learned alot about cars and how to care for them. Plus in the summer, we got a peep show when the women came in for gas and washing the windows.
If the woman was good looking enough, she could have her window washed three times by three different gas pumpers.
Pretty cool. Bookmarked for later.
This guy put some time into compiling these pictures and descriptions.
Brings back memories.
We are the Men from Texaco
We wear the Texaco Star We like to think at Texaco We’ve got everything for your car
We’ve got wipers for your windshield’ Plugs n’ Belts n’Tires, too Lubricants and Batteries and polishes for you All the things to keep your engine up to par We’ve got everything for your car
That’s why you can trust you car to the man who wears the Star for the kind of products that can take care of you car At every Texaco Station, clean across the Nation You can trust your car to the man who wears the Star The big bright Texaco star!
Remember me, I was the little kid who asked for a quarters worth of gas and a pack of pall malls for my dad.
Do a search on “Woodland street bash.” It’s June 11th.
That used to be me! :-) I worked at one of the last full-service Gulf stations. Other posters are right - mostly cash, you had to do math and make change in your head, keep your bills straight in your pocket... Pump gas, wash windshields, check oil, check windshield washer fluid, quick kick/look at the tires (I can still spot a low tire from 20 yds away)...and yes, enjoy the view of all the young ladies that came in and didn’t want to pump their own gas... Those were fun, simple days. The only bad parts were cleaning out the restrooms - particularly when the previous shift had blown it off, and pulling doubles when the following shift blew off work entirely.
Right after I came home from Vietnam I was over in Birmingham visiting my girlfriend. Her brother was getting married the next weekend so I helped out by driving his fiance around to order flowers, etc.
She was, in today’s vernacular, “smokin’ HOT” and we were in a loaner Corvette. We stopped for gas and immediately had THREE guys cleaning the windshield. They kept staring at her and then glancing at me, probably thinking “What is she doing with him?”
In the interests of Truth, I came close to saying, “Hey, guys, this is NOT my girl and this is NOT my car.” But I didn’t! ;-)
(My girl was a wonderful, completely beautiful, blond whose cards, letters, cookies and steadfast encouragement got me through Vietnam.)
I can still see in my mind’s eye, the pained expressions on my mother and sister’s faces, as they hurriedly emerged from a Gas Station Ladies Room, purses in hand, and the UGH, as they sat down in the car.
Men are different. They can “relieve’ themselves ANYWHERE.
But for women, the Gas Station ‘Rest Room’ experience is still extant, to this day...
I remember that friendly sounding bell, “ding ding”, as the car would drive over the rubber air hose near the pumps.
I think the Federal inflation calculator is low, and that the true inflation rate would make gas over $2 a gallon. With an average of 53¢ per gallon fuel tax, that means gas is up, but that if we could drill here and break the Arab oil cartel (fat chance, with the oil sheiks paying off Greenpeace and a ton of politicians to block drilling everywhere except the middle east) prices would go back to pretty much the inflation rate of around $2.50, including taxes.
My grandfather owned a Texaco station. Grew up there on weekends. Neighborhood folks would stop by and chat for hours.
I still love the smell of gasoline.
(Super Chief was 35 9/10 per gallon)
This is from before my time, although I've seen a couple of working models. There was a hand pump, and you pumped the gas into the clear container at the top. You calculated how much gas you were purchasing by looking at the gallon markers on the side, then it used a gravity feed to drain into the car's gas tank.
I know a lot of older Freepers know how it works, but some of the younger ones may never have seen one, except one that's been repurposed as a gum-ball machine or aquarium.
I was a little kid traveling with the family and saw it in Missouri for 13 and 9 myself. Probably ‘62 or so.
Long time ago.
I completely forgot about those, but now that you mention it, I remember getting chased off many times when we would ride our bikes over those trying to get the bell to ring :)
I had a model texaco station made of metal with a lift, parking on the top of the station, little oil cans and cars and a little texeco man
I also had Roy Rogers and Dale Evens’s farm with all the characters and Tinkerbelle the Jeep. Tinkerbelle often filled up at the Texeco station.
I had a blessed childhood.
Anyone remember the Texaco tiger tails than hung from the fill doors of cars. I think one would get one if the car was filled up.
“You can trust your car to the man who wears the star...’’ I remember when a ‘’gas-station’’ was called a ‘’filling station’’ and they gave Green Stamps.
Anyone remember the Texaco tiger tails than hung from the fill doors of cars.
I think that was ESSO or EXXON/Mobile in today’s world.
I remember the TV commercials for GAS.
Put a Tiger-in-your-Tank.
Like the TV commercials for cigarettes, the GAS commercials would employ musical phrases that would stay with you forever.
As my father would say, “Those were the days...”
That pump is just gorgeous. I’ve never seen one before. Was it a regional thing (I’ve never heard of Mohawk gas)?
When I worked at a station many years ago an old OLD man would come in and request four gallons of gas, not dollars worth.
That was a hold out from back in the days of those pumps.
We used to call them 'filling stations' which may have been a colloquialism.
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