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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Filling Station: 1924

Filling Station: 1924

Washington, D.C., 1924. "Havoline Oil Company." View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative, Library of Congress.



Havoline is Texaco's brand name for its oil and products.

Havoline Oil?

The sign says Texaco, not Havoline.

[The Havoline sign is at top right. - Dave]

Special Occasion?

It could be this was a demo of the device. The words on the gasometer seem to be announcing its purpose a bit too loudly for normal garage use.

Mechanic Shade Tree

That's a honey locust in the foreground (note the seed pods). Memories of cleaning the pods off the driveway and yard as a kid. The tree also has huge thorns.


The device is a chassis dynamometer.

The dyno operator has his hand on the brake lever (Prony brake). He's either measuring horsepower and trying to relate it to engine condition or using the dyno to load the motor and collect/measure blowby somehow for the same purpose.

I wonder if this was a "special occasion" or if there was some other reason the dyno operator had so many helpers?

Early Chassis Dynamometer?

Looks like they lock down the automobile and then the drive wheels power a pump. The pressure is measured on the gauge on the "gasometer" in the background.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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