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No-Nox: 1941

No-Nox: 1941

October 1941. "Defense motive in advertising. Elmira, New York." Medium format acetate negative by John Collier for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Slow down or else!

I would bet that there's a motorcycle cop hiding behind that Gulf billboard waiting for the next speeder.

Hot corner

Gulf, Esso, and Texaco all vying for brand loyalty.


Even though the US did not become a direct combatant in World War II until December 1941, it is obvious from much of the advertising and other signs of the mass media in 1940 and pre-December 1941 (radio, movies, newspapers) that there was every expectation that it would eventually come to pass. The Lend-Lease program was in full swing, and the American manufacturing base was already tentatively starting to transform itself into the greatest war production machine ever. We were still caught a bit flat-footed on December 7, 1941, but it wasn't exactly a shocker either.

Baby Gas

That Texaco sign is using a baby for some reason. Can't quite tell, but it looks like a "Guest Room"? Or is it "Rest Room"?

No engine knocking?

Did Gulf gasoline have healthy extra tetraethyl lead to boost its octane rating?
I don't think they cared about nitrogen oxide emissions then.
Catalytic converters? Never heard of them.

They go for you

John Collier was either lucky or patient enough for this shot to have the lampshade shade perfectly covering the 'o'. Gulf was being a little sexist here, unless the two men are looking at each other. Gulfpride.

[That's the lamp's shadow covering the O. - Dave]

Shadow! That's the word I wanted! I was having a brain fart and the only word I could think of was shade. Thanks Dave, I don't mind my place in your shadow.

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