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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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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Full Service: 1937

Full Service: 1937

July 1937. "Mayflower Accessories & Garage Co. service station, 17th and L streets N.W." The Washington, D.C., petroleum buffet previously seen here, here, here and here. Medium format negative by Russell Lee. View full size.

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The More the Merrier

Try seven brands from twelve pumps at this Halensee, Germany station in 1930.

Standard operating procedure

At the time that this picture was taken, Amoco was the retail gas station brand for the American Oil Company, which was partially owned by Standard Oil of Indiana. Esso was the retail gas brand for Standard Oil of New Jersey. The two Standards had been separate companies since the government break-up of Standard Oil in the early teens. The various Standards had regional rights to the "Standard" name, and so often used other marketing names or subsidiaries to expand beyond their territories. Thus, Amoco in Jersey Standard's territory - down the street might have been a Mobilgas station (Standard of New York).

As to two brands at one station, that was unusual. This was a feature of California retailing. But D.C.? I'm not sure.


That's a 1937 Chevy truck peeking out from behind the building.

Standard Oil

Both brands were part of Standard Oil, Esso (Standard Oil of New Jersey) and Amoco (Standard Oil of Indiana). Unclear why they were sold side by side.

re: Dual Fuel

ESSO is a name created from the initials S. O., for Standard Oil. Amoco is a division of Standard Oil (or maybe it's the other way around). As a high schooler, I worked at a Standard Oil station that got rebranded as Amoco in the late 60's/early 70's while I worked there. Same oval/torch logo but they changed the lettering on it.

Dual Fuel

Was it common practice to have two different companies supplying fuel to a station or were Amoco & Esso owned by one entity ? My '37 Packard hearse would have had plenty of room to be serviced here.

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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