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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

Petro-Palace: 1922

Petro-Palace: 1922

Washington, D.C., circa 1922. "Gas station, 17th and L streets N.W." The recently opened Washington Accessories filling station, also seen here under construction, three years later as Minute Service No. 1 and finally around 1928. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Convex-bottom buckets

I have seen those convex-bottom buckets in lumber yards, intended for fire extinguishing service. Are they employed here for radiator service, or for conflagrations?

[Fires. Below, a listing in an 1896 tool catalog. -tterrace]

High Gas Prices

Is the Lightning Motor Fuel sign, behind the bushes, advertising a gas price of 31 cents? If so, gas was more expensive than I thought in those days.

I see the oil sign of 31 cents per quart.

Was there a Minute Service No. 2

for cars that had their gas filler on the driver side? Or were the hoses on those pumps long enough (unlike the ones of today) to reach the "other" side of cars that were forced to enter the "wrong way" by the cutesy signs?

Standard Oil New Jersey

Judging by the globes on the gas pumps it is a pre-Esso Standard Oil of New Jersey station.

17th and L

There's the dome of St. Matthew's Cathedral in the background.

Still needed

Those nifty metal policeman directional signs of "in" and "out" would be useful even in today's gas stations since it seems no matter how many pumps or how large or small the station, there is always one or two drivers who enter the wrong way and mess up everyone else. This also happens at "all-you-can-eat" buffets where you can bet that one or two plate fillers will be going against the grain, coming at you head-on. I suppose that is why cattle are always herded into narrow pathways that are one direction only.

Defunct tire companies

Hood Tires were from the Hood Rubber Company of Watertown, Massachusetts. The company began operations way back in 1896, although tire production may not have started until sometime later. Many of the Armenian immigrants who formed a still-extant community in Watertown worked at the company's huge manufacturing complex. B.F. Goodrich acquired the company in the late 1920's and phased out the brand name. The Watertown plant remained in operations as a Goodrich facility, albeit one that made footwear rather than tires, until it closed in 1969.

Founded in 1905, the Ajax-Grieb Rubber Company of New York manufactured Ajax tires in Trenton, New Jersey and Racine, Wisconsin. The company struggled through the 1920's, and in a last-ditch attempt to cut costs it closed the Trenton facility in 1928. In 1931 Ajax-Grieb became one of the many companies that could not survive the Great Depression and went out of business for good.

This is the corner now


View Larger Map

The hotel later built behind the station and opening in 1925 is the Mayflower, still operating as the Mayflower Renaissance and owned by the Marriott Corporation. The dome at center in the 1922 photo is the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle located at 1725 Rhode Island Ave. NW.

Six Pumps in 1922!

Wow! You can tell the center of government had plenty of autos running around, even back then! In most of the country back then, there would be one pump out front of a grocery store or small service station. This place was a contemporary gas/convenience store 80 years ahead of its time.

 
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