SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
 
The Shorpy Archive
 
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
 
Join and Share

 
Social Shorpy

To love him is to like him. Our goal: 100k "likes":

 
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:

 
 
 

 
Member Photos


Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

 
Colorized Photos


Colorized photos submitted by members.

 
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.

WEB SITE & CONTENTS
© 2017 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

 
 
JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600
VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • CHRISTMAS PRINTS

American Gas: 1942

American Gas: 1942

November 1942. Washington, D.C. "Negro mechanic for the Amoco oil company." Photo by Gordon Parks for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 
On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Gas Station Dings

I had forgotten how musical gas stations used to be. Another device that "dinged" was the old style air pumps. You turned a crank to set the air pressure for your tires, and as the air filled the tire it occasionally dinged, and then automatically stopped at the desired PSI. The air hose was looped over a bracket, and when you removed the hose the bracket lifted up and the air pump started. A sign reminded you to replace the hose on the bracket to turn off the pump.

Well, tterrace, the gas pumps really did "ding" for each gallon of gas pumped. Here is a video that shows everything you need to know about restoring old gas pumps.

Re: Ding-Ding

I too remember the air-hose bell, but do I also remember a ding-ding sound as the gas pumped, or is my memory making stuff up (as it is increasingly wont to do)?

[I can remember hearing that, but I don't know if it was in real life or just in old movies. -tterrace]

'Ding-Ding'

Of the air hose bell when you pulled in for your dollars worth of regular. Still can hear that sound.

Gas Pump

... was a "Wayne." Manufactured in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Subsequently bought out and now know as the Wayne Fueling Systems division of Dover Fueling Solutions. But not in Indiana.

7/10?

I have never seen 7/10 instead of 9/10! I wondered if (at that low price) there was actually price competition at the fraction of a cent?

Reset to Zero

I remember those "spinny things" as well, and through the clear glass you could see the different colours for specific fuels. I seem to recall in the 1950s that regular gas was a light amber, whereas high octane was pink. After each fuelling, the attendant turned a crank on the side of the pump, and this reset the price and number of gallons to zero.

In the 1970s when I first owned a car, you might be presented with a memento as well, such as a glass or a savings coupon. And if you bought gas at an Esso station, there was a tiger tail attached to your fuel cap. This was part of the "Put a Tiger in Your Tank" advertising promotion. This all came to an end with self-serve gas station.

We've come far, but we've also lost much.

I miss the spinny things on gas pumps!

The product of the times.

Gasoline is 18.7 cents a gallon, which I actually remember. I am appalled by the reduction of the pump attendant being reduced to a "Negro", as if his skin color had anything to do with his abilities. Like a white person could do a more remarkable job of pumping gasoline? In the dominant culture of the time, it was accepted practice, but in 2017, it makes me shudder.

[Illustrating ethnic, religious and racial diversity in American society was one of the primary aims of the OWI photo project, so such specifics were always recorded with the exposures. -tterrace]

[The photographer (who wrote the caption) was none other than Gordon Parks. - Dave]

About the same price today.

Adjusting for inflation, and rounding that 18.7 up to 19 cents, it comes out to $2.80 per gallon.

Of course back then you got the oil checked, window washed, tires aired up, and so on.

 
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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2017 Shorpy Inc.