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Capital Service: 1940

Capital Service: 1940

June 1940. Washington, D.C. "Attendant at truck service station on U.S. 1 (New York Avenue)." 35mm nitrate negative by Jack Delano. View full size.


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It's a 1939 Ford truck

The attendant has opened the hood of a 1939 Ford truck. The 38 had a different grill. Even though this truck is near new, someone has left out a bolt.

"Contains Lead"

Interesting that even in 1940 the pumps had a sign that says "Contains Lead". Wonder if it a supposed good feature of the gasoline or if it was a warning sign?

[See this comment for an earlier photo. - tterrace]


The vehicle he's working on is a 1938/39 Ford truck.

Anybody remember when?

You'd pull into a 'Service Station': Four guys would run-out to pump gas and clean windows/mirrors...all with a smile & and thank you!

[I remember TV commercials like that. Real life didn't seem to feature the running, the smiling and three of those four guys so much. - tterrace]

Grease Monkey

I have been a mechanic for over 35 years, and always have a rag in my right rear pocket. When your hands get dirty, the rag is right there to wipe off some of the grime. My first auto-related job was at a full service gas station. In the winter, we couldn't wait to get the hood open and enjoy the warmth of the engine bay. If you checked the tire pressures when it was 20F or below, there was a chance that the outrush of the air in the tire when the valve stem was depressed would cause ice to form, holding the velve open just enough so the tire would be flat in the morning.

Inflation isn't only for tires

I think the pump is showing 24.9 cents a gallon for gasoline, which works out to about $3.85 in today's dollars.

[Which is what it costs now. Funny how that works out. - Dave]

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