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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Fill Noir: 1942

Fill Noir: 1942

April 1942. "Hollywood, California. Gasoline filling station at night." Photo by Russell Lee for the Office of War Information. View full size.

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The "Showcase" gasoline pump was manufactured by at least 3 different companies during the 1930s.

Strange pump?

Anyone know what that "pump" is in the center of the front lane? I swear, it looks more like an arcade "Claw Game" cabinet than a gasoline pump, and I've never seen anything like that that I can recall.

Car Wash

According to the BLI inflation calculator, that 69-cent car wash is equivalent to $10.76 today.

These are the days

Accounting for inflation, 69 cents in 1942 was pretty much exactly the same as the ten bucks you paid for that car wash yesterday, if not just a bit more.

Dave ?

EIViego sends a copy of news clipping to support his comment. You offhandedly dispute as we must accept what you say. Where is your support?

[That clipping is from me. Maybe you should read it again! - Dave]

Glassware giveaways and girls on roller skates

Mark C. Bloome immigrated to Southern California from Canada in 1924 and parlayed a 15-cent-a-gallon Richfield gasoline station into one of the nation's largest chain with 45 tire stores and service stations

He was a boy when he left Canada to find his fortune and only 22 when he opened his Richfield station at Compton Boulevard and Slauson Avenue in South-Central Los Angeles.

He survived the Depression years by offering glassware giveaways and other free premiums at his expanding chain of stations and at one point even had women on roller skates speeding among the pumps dispensing gasoline.

Bloome was 89 when he died at his Beverly Hills home, Dec.3, 1991

My oh My that signage

Getting a little light-headed over all those signs. And that neon clock. Hope they have those clocks in heaven.

Cheap wash

I paid ten bucks for a car wash yesterday ... those were the days!

Still Tired

The location was 6210 Sunset Boulevard at El Centro Avenue. There's still a tire store on the corner.

Film Noir

If it's taught me anything it's that this will soon be the scene of a crime, most likely a murder, or maybe some poor sap will pick up a stranded "dame" at this service station, sending his life careening off the tracks and ending in death.

Blackout, Shmackout?

If the date is right, the picture depicts a pretty blatant violation of the blackout rules, especially two months after the "Battle of Los Angeles."

[Except for the occasional air raid alert (see clipping below), Los Angeles was not under blackout. - Dave]

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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