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Green Gasoline: 1980

Green Gasoline: 1980

1980. "Shamrock gas pump, old Route 85, Aguilar, Colorado." Color transparency by John Margolies (1940-2016) / John Margolies Roadside America photograph archive. View full size.


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Two digits

Two digits plus a decimal for the price per gallon.
Those were the days!

High gas tax

Whenever the last transaction on this pump occurred, it is noteworthy that the sticker below the dials says that there are 11 cents per gallon of taxes. Given that the total price is 31.9 cents per gallon, that's pretty hefty. Compare today's 18.4-cent federal and 22-cent Colorado tax per gallon -- out of a price ten times as high.

[The price per gallon on this pump is ?1½ cents. - Dave]

Yes, I see that now. I guess I just assumed that it was .9 because that's the way gas stations have always priced for as long as I can remember, and still do, even as the tenth of a cent fades into total insignificance.

If, as calculated by alg0912, the first digit is a 3, that would correspond to a sale in the 1960s some time. The station's closure might have something to do with the merger of Shamrock Oil with Diamond Alkali in 1967 (see

If I'm reading it correctly

The last customer received 7(?) gals of gas for $2.25, making the gas 32 cents a gallon. This would be far too low for 1980 (which was approaching/exceeding a dollar a gallon, if I recall correctly).

[Not to belabor the obvious, but this is a derelict pump at a ghost gas station. - Dave]


Bowser model 575, circa 1941-48. This one seems to be in above average condition for its years. It would have been an excellent candidate for a cosmetic restoration, transforming it into a colorfully imposing embellishment for a modern day Man Cave.

Sylvanus Bowser invented the first gas pump in 1885, before cars ever existed. Since people relied on gas to power their homes, they used Bowser's invention, which held refined kerosene, for their stoves and lamps.

Creme tangerine

I saw the title and immediately heard it in my head replacing the first two words of the Beatles song "Savoy Truffle"!

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