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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • BRITISH COLUMBIA VACATION-LAND: 1950s

No-Nox, No Gas: 1942

No-Nox, No Gas: 1942

July 1942. "Gasoline rationing -- service station in Mechanicsville, Maryland." Photo by Marjory Collins for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

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Southwest Pump

The No-Nox pump was a mid-1930s model made by Southwest Pump Company of Bonham, Texas (formerly Catron Manufacturing). They started making pumps in the late 1920s, and continued for many years, being acquired by Tokheim around 2000. I saw an example of this model of pump beautifully restored just last week, when I was at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas.

Gas goes digital

That's an old "dial" type gas meter on the right. The hour hand usually marked a coarse 0 to 20 gallon count, and the minute hand went once around per gallon. You had to do some old fashioned math. The newer "digital" version to the left could calculate the price on the fly. Both were more convenient than the old graduated glass cylinder pumps, but alas one could no longer visually appreciate that special pink pearlescence of leaded petrol.

Not "Gone" so much as "Bypassed"

This image shows the focal point of Mechanicsville as it developed along the original two-lane Route 5. At some point around 1965, the state constructed a four-lane divided highway to accommodate increasing traffic between Washington DC and the Patuxent Naval Air Test Station in St. Mary's County. Much like the more famous Route 66, this bypassed stretch of Route 5 became a time capsule of early 20th century roadside Americana. Structures like this remain just north of here in Hughesville, which was much more recently subjected to by-pass. Would love to know if anyone has recollection (or photos!) of the railway that paralleled this same stretch.

Fowler Store

The "house" is actually the Fowler Store, which was in business until 1943.

And pretty soon ...

No tires, either.

Gone but...

The house next door is still there. Check the window under the gable end.


View Larger Map

Cool gas pump.

The pump on the left has the rolling type numbers, but that one on the right has what looks like a clock face.

I've never seen/noticed a dial face on a gas pump before.

Safe to say

This is an American Picker's dream.

Great Slogan

- Get in the scrap -

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