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Old gas stations

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by hatguy1, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. Here's a few of my older scanned pics...not really sure where some of these are, as these pics were taken in the 80's (although the older Gulf in the second photo I have posted before, in Midway, GA)....





  2. I love those old photos Rob! Especially the first one of the abandoned Shell. They all are making me want to take a road trip.
  3. I've got tons more, and will be putting them up all weekend...stay tuned!

  4. That style of Shell sign is very significant -- it was the first internally-lit molded-plastic sign to be widely used in the US when it was introduced in 1948, and it set the pattern that's still being followed for most roadside signage today.

    It was only in use for about twelve years, though -- Shell hired Raymond Loewy to revamp its image, and Loewy really disliked the idea of the Shell silhouetted against the sky. He believed that trademarks should always be presented against a "controlled background," so he insisted the Shell symbol be placed on a red square. These "controlled background" signs went up in the early sixties, and because Shell was always very rigorous about enforcing a consistent image, very very few of the earlier design signs remained intact.
  5. 1994 Texaco Premium
    1934 Diamond T "Doodlebug" Tanker

    I remember finding this one at a Texaco station in Newport Beach, CA. At the time it was already long since out of production but this sole example was still sitting on a shelf behind the counter gathering dust. I asked the manager about it and he let me have it at cost which was $11.00! They originally retailed for $19.95. I don't have a picture of it but I also have a battery operated motorised Texaco tanker ship that I found at a yard sale not too long ago. Currently the ship is in my dealer space at the antique mall.



    Last edited: Jul 18, 2014
  6. Those ships came out around 1960, I think, and were extremely popular. They were not, however, completely watertight, and the water eventually would corrode out the battery compartment, so if yours works, keep it dry -- it's a rare survivor.

    Somewhere packed away around here I have a Texaco dealer paraphernalia catalog from the early sixties listing all the premiums, along with regulation uniforms, promotional signage, and various trinkets and gimcracks. Fire Chief Hat-shaped candy suckers to keep the kiddies quiet!

    The uniform section is quite thorough -- you had the basic green shirt and pants, leather belt and bow tie, and also Ike jackets, windbreakers, raincoats, winter parkas, and fur trooper hats. There were even oil-resistant forest-green leather shoes to complete the ensemble.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2014
  7. That's the insignia of the Shell Share The Road club, a safety campaign run by Shell dealers between 1938 and 1941. The campaign was against "screw-drivers," which was the campaign's name for roadhogs -- tailgaters, people who didn't signal turns, people who passed in no-passing zones, etc, and "screw-jays," which was what they called pedestrians who barged into the street without regard for traffic. The nautical flags mean "I am giving way," which is another way of referring to the club pledge to promote defensive driving.

    I have one of those emblems on my own car, because "screw-drivers" and "screw-jays" are more abundant now than ever.
  8. The top one's a very nicely intact Teague Texaco -- the canopy feature was used exclusively in the south and west, you never saw them like that here because they couldn't stand up to the snow.

    Third one down looks most like a mid-thirties Sinclair.
  9. 2jakes - great picture. Do you think there once was a "grease pit" where that strip of grass is in front of the station with concrete on both sides?
  10. That's awesome! Love the tile work.
  11. Great pics 2Jakes
  12. I keep looking for a good photo of the Esso station my father owned back in the sixties. It faced Front Street in Beaufort, NC, and it had a dock in the back for fueling commercial fishing boats. These two photos are all that I've found, so far. The first was taken from the station's driveway back in the forties, long before my father owned it. The second was taken a few years after Dad bought the station in 1961. I think this photo was taken from the wheel house of a shad boat moored next door. You can just see the bows of the steamer's two purse boats at the bottom. The First Citizens' Bank, directly across the street, is visible in both pictures.



  13. Yes...an urban renewal project in the late 1970's claimed the old station...along with most of the other buildings on the south side of Front Street. But if you've ever been to the Fudge Factory in Beaufort, you've stood on the site where Dad's station was located.

  14. [​IMG]

    Corner of Main and Rankin Streets, Rockland, Me., 1940. This station stood just a few blocks from where I live, and is a good example of what gas station architecture looked like before the rise of the porcelain box -- a simple house-like structure with a grease bay tacked onto the side. While there were always exotic oddities, the vast majority of gas stations before the war looked very much like this.

    This station was torn down in the early fifties when the traffic patterns were changed, and the site, today, is buried under an intersection.

    "Socony" was the Northeastern brand for what became Mobil, and remained in use here until the late fifties. Although the stations were branded "Socony," they sold "Mobilgas," "Mobiloil," "Mobilgrease," "Mobilwax," and other "Mobilspecialties."

    Locally, "Mobil-", either as a prefix or as a single word, was, and still is by the older generation, pronounced "Mo-beel."
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  15. Here's another local station. 532 Main Street, Rockland -- the Maritime Oil Company. The company is still in business with a regional chain of convenience stores and a fuel-oil business. The station is still standing as well, but is now the headquarters of a Verizon cellphone dealer.



    Attached Files:

  16. Wheeler's Church Road. Hurdle Mills (Gordonton), NC
    Could this be the same place over seventy years later?

    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  17. Fantastic picture, but something about it looks stage to my unprofessional eye.
  18. It is almost certainly the same place. Things sometimes change very slowly in the rural South.


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