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Stamps Gas Coke: 1937

Stamps Gas Coke: 1937

August 1937. "Post office in Gemmell, Minnesota." One-stop shopping for a variety of needs. Photo by Russell Lee, Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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TEL or Ethyl

The "lead" that was added to gasoline was not metallic lead nor a simple metal salt. It was a more complex organic compound known at tetraethyllead (aka TEL). The commercial additive blended this with two other components along with a dye. Check out for a more detailed explanation.

Boom, burn, bust

Gemmell was a lumber boomtown. A forest fire hastened its demise, before Lee photographed everything left of any importance. According to a middle school history project, at its peak Gemmell had 2,000 citizens, seventeen hotels, an ice cream parlor, two schools, four or more restaurants, one gas station, one church, more than ten sawmills, and a number of other businesses. Lee reported that there were 500 citizens at the time of his visit, which seems generous. Today, it's more of a townsite than a town.

Carnation, Pet, Borden -

- those I've seen, but how could I have reached senescence without knowing that Armour also made condensed milk?


I never noticed that they warned about gasoline having lead since the thirties. But it took till the eighties till they finally removed the stuff.

[See Dave's explanation here. -tterrace]

All you need to make you Go

Ex-Lax, orange juice and gasoline. That's all I need for speed. I miss seeing these little combination stores and post offices. They're about all gone from our area. One I visited just a few years ago (now closed) still had items in stock with prices dating to the '50s and '60s.

All of That

Plus Ex-Lax.

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