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We Fix Flats: 1942

We Fix Flats: 1942

April 1942. "Service station. Hamilton, Ravalli County, Montana." You want Coke with that? Medium format negative by John Vachon for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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Open Question - slide or fold?

From the handle placement and orientation plus the state of the right hand door, my guess is that they are hinged vertical panels that slide sideways and bend at the side to travel back into the bay. Sort of like the modern vertical garage doors mounted sideways.

Open Question

Do the garage doors slide or fold? I think they slide. Any ideas?

[Perhaps they pivot. - Dave]

That oil stove/furnace in Montana

I imagine got a good workout in the winter months. Looks like a great place to hang out and have a game of checkers and catch up on the local news.

What a Great Looking Gas Station

The only thing missing is the rubber hose to ring the bell to indicate that someone is waiting at the pumps. In reality it is probably hidden by the bushes and the car.

The Plymouth was getting tired

On March 18 Roy Stryker had written to Vachon that he was trying to get new tires for his old car. Even being a government employee was apparently not a free ticket during war rationing. I wonder if Vachon had eyed the tires in this station, but the approval wasn't expected until near the end of April.

This is a service station

I notice John Vachon called this a service station, not a gas station. I remember the days when you pulled your car up next to a gas pump and told the attendant who came out to greet you how much you wanted of which grade. While you sat in your car or did whatever you needed to do the attendant put gas in your tank, cleaned your front and rear windshields, checked your oil and told you the results, maybe put water in your radiator or windshield wiper tank, and checked the pressure in all four of your tires. As a norm attendants were not given tips; it was just part of going to a service station.

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