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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Specialized Lubrication: 1932

Specialized Lubrication: 1932

September 14, 1932. "Goodyear service station, San Francisco." Second in this series of Goodyear-centric photos. 8x10 inch nitrate negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

11th and Minna

The garage is at 11th and Minna in San Francisco. There's a multi-story self-storage place on the site now; I can't tell if it's the same building, or if the garage's building has been replaced. The building kitty-corner is E. P. Fischer, auto repair, as visible from the sign. In 1942, they had an address of 140 11th Street. The E. P. Fischer garage is still there, and still used as a garage; the window arrangement matches this photo. The street sign in front of E. P. Fischer seems to have a longer name; I'm wondering if 11th Street was formerly considered part of Bryant St., but was renamed after the 1920's?

Classic equipment

Those Bennett hand-cranked pumps atop the bulk oil hadn't changed 40 years later when I was in the garage equipment business. Each full cycle put out 1 quart of oil. Now I suppose they are priced extravagantly at venues such as Barrett-Jackson.

The Pits

Not so banned, at least here in California.
A Jiffy Lube I last visited still uses one; probably well ventilated now!

Oval Window

I think it's a 1931 Plymouth PA Tudor. It's not as big as the photo makes it seem.

To service quickly your automobile

Pennzoil, Quaker State and local microrefiners on draft.

I worked in a pit like that

When I was in high school in 1959-'63 I worked at the local White Rose gas station here in Leamington, Ontario.

The garage area had two pits where gas fumes would settle, creating a fire hazard. Pits were banned and grease monkeys began to use hoists in the new service garages.

The "large round thing cast in concrete" was probably an exhaust fan with an explosionproof motor.

[Actually it's a glass light fixture. - Dave]

Speaking of Blimps

Check out the silhouette of the Airship Macon (or Akron) on the Goodyear ad, outside on the tire.

To Boldly Go

or "to go boldly" to a pre-space age facility that is "required to lubricate, correctly, your car?"

Edited to inquire: Is the question mark supposed to be inside or outside the quotation marks in a case such as the one, above? (It's been bugging me for years.)

Just around the corner

is their competition, Mohawk Tires. Mohawk was bought out by Yokohama, in 1989.

Satellite Dish

I assume the large round thing cast in Concrete is a light? Or perhaps a time travel device?

"To boldly go -- "

Regarding "English as a second language," Star Trek probably did more to undermine the rule regarding split infinitives than a boatload of revisionist grammarians could have hoped to.

Where's the oil?

Ok, so whoever cleans the oil spills is someone I want for my garage.

That is the cleanest garage I have ever seen, then or now.

What car types?

I'm thinking that the square-rear-window sedan is a Dodge. Out the window I spy with my little eye a Buick and Ford coupe. Any ideas on the big elegant sedan (a two-door!!) with the oval rear window parked behind the Ford?

English as a second language

Wow, this photo really puts you in the scene. Great atmosphere. I can almost hear the sounds of the passing autos as I look out through the windows.

The wording on the "Let us explain this service" display indicates that this sign was probably designed by somebody from another country. Specifically the line: "required to lubricate correctly your car."

[Um, no. - Dave]


Lots Of Lube, right?


I was surprised to see such a facility from this era as I assumed that today's quick lubes were a more recent concept. It looks like I could take my 21st century vehicle in and get good service. Not sure what "Blimp" was or why I'd need any though.

[Not just any "Blimp," but Goodyear Blimp! -Dave]

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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