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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Red Crown Gasoline: 1927

Red Crown Gasoline: 1927

Northern California circa 1927. "California State Automobile Association Official Mechanical, First Aid and Towing Service Station." Offering Emergency Road Service and Red Crown Gasoline. 6½x8½ inch glass negative originally from the Wyland Stanley collection of San Francisciana. View full size.

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Those were the days

When gas stations were rigged liked sailboats. I am trying, unsuccessfully, to understand the purpose of the pole/pulley/cable rig on the side of the building, which apparently opens a second story window.

[The pulley is exactly like those on the poles at the end of my mother's washlines, each of which extended from a window, one in the kitchen, one in the bedroom. -tterrace]

Thanks, tterrace, makes sense to me now.

Red Crown Valve Caps

Never too late to get some.....

Red Crown tire valve caps

In the early 1950s Red Crown service stations gave or sold red tire valve caps in the shape of their Red Crown. I really, really, really wanted two for my bicycle, unfortunately I could never find a service station that had them. One of life’s bitter disappointments.


Here in Canada, our affiliate with AAA is CAA, and I work for the Alberta CAA (Alberta Motor Association) formed in 1926. This is our 1926 tow truck, used in a lot of parades.

Fill 'er up?

Those glass-cylinder pumps may have their charms, but it's worth considering that they made it unworkable for a motorist to say "Fill 'er up" because that would likely leave the fuel level in the glass somewhere between graduations, necessitating guesswork as to the quantity delivered -- as well as confusing matters for the next customer. And, of course, ordering fuel in even-money amounts (as opposed to by-the-gallon) was out of the question.

[Or maybe not. Below, from - Dave]

        The measuring sticks inside started out with zero gallons at the very top, where the cylinder's overflow was set, and the numbers progressed by gallons to the bottom of the glass. The customer paid for the displaced gallons by reading the measuring stick on the inside of the cylinder. The cylinder was then topped off at zero for the next customer. At closing time, fuel in the cylinder was drained back into the underground tank.

Car (formerly) ID

Jordan. The Jordan emblem has a small arrow head pointing down on a white background, qv.

Law & Order, Siskiyou County

I believe that area is favored by the FBI for relocating newcomers into the Witness Protection Program.

Balanced gasoline

Nebraska, 1921.


At Bray, a dot on the map in Siskiyou County up near the Oregon line.

SHORPY OLD 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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