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Washington Rubber: 1942

May 14, 1942. Washington, D.C. "Filling up with gas on the day before rationing starts." 4x5 inch acetate negative by John Collier for the Office of War Information. View full size.

May 14, 1942. Washington, D.C. "Filling up with gas on the day before rationing starts." 4x5 inch acetate negative by John Collier for the Office of War Information. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

I need some air

I really like the Eco Tirefloater Model 40 from the '30s underneath the Hood Tires man.

[It's a Tireflator, not "floater." Because it's an inflator of tires! - Dave]

B.F. Goodrich "Speed Warden"

The Hood Service Man

Go to this link. It has everything you would ever want to know about the guy in that sign on the middle of the building.

Neon Flags in Motion

This gas station has a wonderful neon sign. The neon glass tubing is installed so that the uniformed man up on the corner of the building would appear to be waving two flags. The Hood Tires neon flags alternating would really attract attention at night.

Rationing rationale

Make It Do – Gasoline Rationing in World War II

Gas was rationed primarily to save rubber, because Japan had occupied Indochina, Malaysia, and Indonesia. There was a shortage of gas on the East Coast until a pipeline from Texas was constructed to replace the transport of crude oil by sea, which during the early years of the war made it vulnerable to attack by German submarines.

In the vault of the National Postal Museum there are a few of the almost five billion gasoline rationing coupons which were produced in response to the 1973-74 gasoline shortage at the direction of the Federal Energy Office. The government had proposed nationwide gasoline rationing, as had occurred during World War II, but national gas rationing never happened and the coupons were never used.

The Catwalk

In automotive design terms during the 1930s, the "catwalk" was the area between the front fenders and the hood. "Catwalk cooling" referred to the insertion of air intakes in those areas. Virgil Exner designed that Studebaker while working in Raymond Loewy's studio. Exner later went on to create the huge tailfinned land yachts for Chrysler in the late 1950s.

Gee, our old LaSalle ran great

The man signing something is not at a pump, so not sure what he's signing for. But it brings back memories of when you had to have a separate credit card for each brand of gas. This Conoco did not take a Shell card. After the nice man gave you the amount of gas you requested, cleaned your windshield, and checked oil, tires, etc., you handed him your gas card, which he took inside to swipe in a credit card imprinter (they still sell those things?). He returned to your car with your card, a pen, and a receipt for you to sign. Afterward, he tore off one of the carbon copies for you to have for your records and thanked you for your business.

By 1998 that system was all in the past. When my father died that year, my mother had never put gas in a car. And she did not want to learn.

Under the Hood (and under the table)

Less than a year later, this station would be charged with violating rationing regulations on numerous occasions!!

The apartment building(s) in the background are still there, occupying the whole south side of the 1300 block of Clifton.

1940 Studebaker Commander

I don't know my Chevrolets that well but the car facing us, with its driver signing for something, is a 1940 Studebaker Commander sedan.

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