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Tidewater Texaco: 1941

Tidewater Texaco: 1941

March 1941. "Gas station. King William County, Virginia." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Today’s Top 5

Isolated Location

I was just thinking that the bars on the window were there because otherwise the humble establishment would be a softer target. I imagine when the shop closed up it didn't have the benefit of nearby buildings or persons who could witness a break in by someone traveling by.

Root 66

I thought the same thing re: the iron bars. I wondered briefly whether the filling station housed the jail. Barney Fife would know the answer.

Another Fantastic Vachon

His work is consistently amazing to me. For the second time, I purchased a print of his from Shorpy (sorry if that sounds like an endorsement - it is!).

The thing that strikes me (living thirty miles away from this scene, is that I can see the sky at the top of the frame, in a deep blue. Thanks, John Vachon - and Shorpy.

Rough Neighborhood?

Are those bars on all the windows? Seems like a little overkill for a one-pump station out in the sticks. Perhaps running a gas station was a very lucrative enterprise back in the day!

Southern Pines

The large pine tree here drew my attention immediately. Having grown up in the south, pines were a part of my existence. We lived in a trailer park that had once been a plantation, now grown over with 50+ year old pine trees that towered over our yards. Each year a storm or a tornado would topple one of these trees and slice through a trailer like a knife through soft butter. Needless to say I grew up with a fear of bad weather.

Nokesville locates this on King Richards Court in Nokesville, which is about 10 miles southwest of Manassas. I do hope that nice big pine tree was spared during the
inevitable urban development and expansion of the roadway.

[Nokesville is in Prince William County. Our photo was taken in King William County, a hundred miles away. - Dave]

I’ll have a grape Nehi!

The only ads I see. It’s either tires or a Grape Nehi!

Edit: the picture reminds me of the upper peninsula of Michigan.

Match or March

I hope it's not match, given the possibility of fuel present, and the possible significant distance to a fire station ... but at any rate, I love the shepherd's hook signage on this Texaco. When I was little, in the late '50s until the mid '60s, my small family (mom, stepdad, sister, and me) were constantly on the move, virtually itinerant in a stolen baby blue Nash Rambler, in whose back window I slept. I loved rolling into a filling station because once you heard the ding, Mama started looking around for the Coke-Cola machine. I scanned the sky outside my backseat window mile after mile for the big yellow Shell shell, or the red Texaco star, or the green Sinclair dinosaur, or the sinuous Esso logo, hoping that a frosty glass bottle of sodey pop could be in my near future. Fly in the ointment: it saddened (well, angered) me that I always had to share with my big sister. Which meant, grab it out of her hands whenever I had the chance. I don't see refreshments here so let's move on before the whole thing blows sky high.

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