JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Night Service: 1940

Night Service: 1940

April 1940. "Gas station at night. Dubuque, Iowa." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Gas Prices

Gas prices are in gallons per $1.

O. Winston Link

In my mind, as a lover of O. Winston Link photography, I keep seeing that roaring steam locomotive barreling through town and frozen in an image forever in time.
Perhaps John Vachon, but for a few minutes, could have preceded Mr. Link.


My mind wants to see a Ghost Train bearing down on the Ghost Bus.

Shadows of the Picket Fence on the lawn make the Shot for me. Top-Shelf Noir, to echo rayray below.

Room please

I'd like a third floor room facing the tracks. Listen to those steam locomotives pounding by!

The numbers

under the Standard Service sign?

The right-hand column must be octane. Any very old-timers know what the
left-hand column numbers are? I have a guess as to what they are and why they are written that way, but would like to see other guesses.

[Price per gallon, excluding tax. Or maybe gallons per dollar. See Azor's comment above. - Dave]

White Flight

The owners of that new Deluxe, twin-taillight Ford (parked at the near corner) and the Plymouth across the street had better be enjoying their whitewall tires, sales of which would be banned a year later (in April 1941) due to the greater amount of a strategic material -- rubber -- required in their manufacture. It would be another seven years before the ban was lifted.

Dubuque Triptych

This is a nighttime version of the shot out the hotel window in Standard Service: 1940 (, very likely the same hotel where we find Vachon himself inside one of the rooms in The Cat’s Pajamas: 1940 (, both of which we viewed here at Shorpy just over a week ago. If they were hanging in a gallery together, they could be called Night, Day, and Self-Portrait. Thanks to our curator, Dave, for bringing them together for us.

Non-Standard Noir

In fact, it's one of Shorpy's best noir photos!


John Vachon was the Edward Hopper of the Rolleiflex. So many incredible images from one man.

All gone

The Page Hotel was located at 4th and White Streets. The current view is no view at all.

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Site © 2022 Shorpy Inc.