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Pit Stop: 1940

Pit Stop: 1940

July 1940. Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. "Cherry pickers. Auto of migrant fruit worker at gas station." 35mm nitrate negative by John Vachon. View full size.


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Fill er up?

Yes sir, that'll be 90 cents please.

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Back in September of 1978, I had the pleasure of driving up the peninsula from Green Bay and spending the day at Sturgeon Bay, at a shipyard that was building a giant Great Lakes ore carrier. What a neat place!

The Gas

Standard Oil Red Crown filling station.

That other car

Looks about like the 1936 Dodge my folks had. First car I can remember. Their next car was a used 1948 Chevy bought in about 1950.

The Car

1929 Reo Flying Cloud.

Worn and tired.

Those front tires, especially the right front, are as worn as the rest of the car. The drivers door has a serious rust issue going on. Must have been a nice car when it was new.


Looks like he's due to replace those front tyres soon; I like the spotlight in the middle of the windscreen visor. And, there is a clear demo for the usefulness of running boards when you had to carry everything you possess along with you.

Car make and gas company?

Nice car. I hope someone will identify it, along with the gas company.


This car is probably not much more than a dozen years old, yet to folks in 1940 it already looked like an antique. Such were the rapid developments in automotive styling in that era. The visor-mounted spotlight is nifty though.

Still a gas station there.

Michigan Street and Third Ave. The building looks the same on Google maps.

What took you so long?

The sign said, "Clean Rest Rooms," so I did.

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