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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • JOIN THE NAVY, 1917

Fill 'Er Up: 1942

Fill 'Er Up: 1942

June 1942. "Tracy, California. Tank truck delivering gasoline to a filling station." Photo by Russell Lee for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 
On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Octagon?

Sorry, tterrace, but the star in your example on JDC-OKC's comment is 7-pointed so it must be a heptagon.

[Not the star, the octagon. -tterrace]

Gas station memories

See Again It Saturday: My father's Gulf station c. 1955. I remember peering into the water-filled Coke cooler.

Grape drink in ice-cold vending machine. Yum!

All this talk of icy cold Coke... I guess my favorite was Grape Fanta in a coke machine that was full of ice-cold water with the track holding the bottle like the ones mentioned above.

I loved the old-fashioned gas stations with full service bays, tires, and wash racks. I miss those times, and thank Shorpy for bringing back the memories.

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away,

before the invention of the octagon for stop signs, there were "Comfort Stations." Some of them were Certifiably Clean. Clean enough for a baby.

[Note that there is an octagon, however. -tterrace]

Correct me if I'm wrong

...but weren't Flying A gas stations owned by Gene Autry? Never much of a singer or actor, but a damn smart businessman.

[OK. The "A" in Flying A gas stations came from the Associated Oil Company. No connection with Gene Autry's Flying A Ranch, Rodeo and later TV production company. -tterrace]

Coke ice box

Larc, my grandfather had a gas station in Callahan, Florida, with one of those Coke ice boxes and you are correct about how cold the bottles got. His had a sort of track that held the neck of the bottles and you slid the one you wanted to get it out. My favorite was Grapette. Sometimes I got to fill the thing with bottles and dump out all the bottlecaps.

As you may remember, there used to be promotions where a kid could get into a Saturday movie matinee for a couple of bottlecaps of a certain brand and a quarter, and I took full advantage of that at the movie theater in Fernandina, where we lived.

My grandfather must have had thousands of the attached postcard made of his station and the adjoining restaurant and motel, as they are always available on eBay. The site is now a CVS.

At the gas station

The car parked at the Associated gas station building is a 1941 Studebaker sedan, rather dowdy looking when compared to the very aerodynamic styling of the post-war Studebakers. When introduced to the public at dealerships in June, 1946, the 1947 models were truly futuristic in design and about equally loved (or despised.)

The pause that refreshes

The Coca-Cola box at far right looks like one that would have had bottles of Coke submerged in icy water so cold you thought your hand would freeze while you fished one out. But, oh, that taste on a hot day! And the curvature of the cold bottle was perfect for rolling across your forehead between swills.

Several identification clues hint...

that this truck is a 1937-1942 White model 820.

Streamlined

Back when even utility vehicles had style.

Missed my chance

The Tracy Inn is still there. For several years I drove past Tracy on 580, never knew there was anything there to see.

Now a parking lot...

but the building next door still stands tall.

 
SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE
Shorpy.com | 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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