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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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Indian Trails Texaco: 1940

Indian Trails Texaco: 1940

July 1940. "Gas station in Benton Harbor, Michigan." 35mm nitrate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Registered Restrooms

In 1939 Texaco became one of the first oil companies to introduce a "Registered Rest Room" program to ensure that restroom facilities at all Texaco stations nationwide maintained a standard level of cleanliness to the motoring public. The company hired a staff of inspectors who traveled from station to station periodically to ensure that restrooms were up to standard. The "Registered Rest Room" program was later copied by other oil companies and continued at Texaco until the energy crises of the 1970s.


The two pumps in the middle look to be a transition style from the old visible pumps, using circular gauges rather than the "rollover" ones at the ends of the island.

U Know!

According to the Google Street View, it's now the U Know Barber and Beauty Shop. Behind it, with the the tire on the side, is the Motor Building.

Ford Truck

That's a 1928 or 1929 Ford truck out front, so it would be 11 or 12 years old. The rounding out of the corners started in the mid-thirties and by the end of the decade all the boxy shapes were pretty much gone.

The truck's looking a little tired already. The spare tire is missing from the bracket on the driver's side. Looks like folks have been leaning on the front fenders too, judging by the distance from the front of the tire and the crack about halfway back. I helped a friend restore a 1930 Ford, and it's front fenders looked just the same at the start.

Transport evolution

Amazing contrast between the old-styled pickup parked in front of the gas station and the bulkier, more substantial and modern looking cars on the street. That truck can't be 10 years old in that picture, and yet it looks as archaic as a horse-drawn buggy.

"Retire now"

I really had to think about that one.

Found It!

Using the word "VINCENT" on the roofline behind the original.

View Larger Map

Happy trails?

The Indian can trail Texaco all day long but will never defeat them.


I need to see the National Registry of Restrooms. What is its web address?

Gimme a pack of Camels

and a Coke!


I've been to quite a few service stations that I wish had a "registered" rest room!

Fully Packed

Must have been a really busy place on Saturdays. I wonder if they had a snack bar?

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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