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About the Photos

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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Blu-Green Gasoline: 1925

Blu-Green Gasoline: 1925

1920s San Francisco. "Gilmore Gasoline service station." Where you can fill up with gas or water. Who can tell us where this is? 5x7 glassneg. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

California Summer?

Flat roof, glass on three sides, single glazing, no shadow, only small sections that could be opened for ventilation, no blinds, no air conditioning.

That glass cube must have been a veritable oven in the height of summer.

["Summer" is a relative term in San Francisco. -tterrace]

Here's another one

The skeleton of a similar old-timey filling station still exists at 16th and Irving:

For Whom The Bell Tolls

I see 3 Bell Telephone Systems signs. That tells me that the phone was likely a moneymaker. Another observation, the entrance to the Men's Room was probably on the other side the building, backing up to the Women's.

Gas price

That 20 cents per gallon in 1925 would be $2.71 today.

Telephone service?

Two white public telephones seen through window? Must be a very new station, evenly spread gravel, no grease stains near pumps, no tire marks leading into or away from the station. Very modern, open and clean design. How many women drivers in that era?

Roar With Gilmore

Here's a gas station rebuilt on private property in Santa Rosa CA. Signal Gas, similar but even smaller than the Gilmore station. Also the Gilmore lion.

Where the buses go to sleep

According to this document, the Twiggses built their boats at the corner of Stockton and North Point.

[As noted by SteamBoomer, by the 1920s the boatyard had moved to a location bounded by Illinois, 18th and Third (Kentucky) streets. Below, an ad from the 1925 San Francisco City Directory. - Dave]

Bathroom hijinks

According to my (now deceased) grandmother, those were the types of bathrooms you had to back into. No word on whether you dropped trou before or after backing.

Can't imagine there was a sink in there. Maybe if you wanted to wash afterwards, you wrestled the hose from a newsie?

The Budget for Lion Gargoyles

was a lot larger than the landscaping budget for those 4 bushes.

Thirsty Newsie

Click to enlarge.


Calendar seems to be an ad for Chesterfield Cigs.

Gilmore the flying lion

In 1930, the barnstormer and air racer Roscoe Turner persuaded the Gilmore Oil Company to buy a snazzy Lockheed Air Express, which was emblazoned with Gilmore 'Red Lion' logos. Turner later bought a lion cub -- inevitably named 'Gilmore' -- and flew with him throughout the country. The lion even had a parachute.

According the Smithsonian, "with the possible exception of the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Gilmore became the most famous lion of the 1930s."

More Twig(g)s

This appears to be the northeast corner of 18th and 3rd/Kentucky Streets. The fence of John Twigg & Sons boat builders, at 18th and Illinois Streets, can be seen in the background.

Women's room

Is like Dr. Who's Tardis, it get bigger on the inside.

Positively Palatial

This gas station looks substantially larger than yesterday's barbershop (not to mention much brighter). However, the women's room looks a bit on the narrow side.

SHORPY HISTORICAL 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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