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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Triangle Service Station: 1925

Triangle Service Station: 1925

1925. The Triangle Service Station in Arlington, Virginia, at Mount Vernon Avenue and Military Road. View full size. National Photo Company Collection.

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Gas Station

Roof tiles

I live about half a mile south of where this service station used to be, in the Del Ray neighborhood e*c mentions in his comment. If the indicated location is correct, none of the adjacent homes survived I'm afraid.

Very interesting architectural details though - take for instance the clay tile roofs on the station and the homes in the background - you won't find those anywhere anymore today. I'm also surprised to see that again both the service station as well as the homes already have K-style gutters mounted all around. I always thought that those were added decades later.

The home in background on the right has somewhat odd decorative keystones built-in around the windows. Can't say I've seen those before either. And did you notice all the open windows? No AC in 1925 and judging by the grass and foliage it's late spring or early summer...

Triangle Service

Mount Vernon Avenue and Glebe Road intersect here in Alexandria. There's a car wash on the corner now, but houses like the one in the photo are very common farther down Mount Vernon into the DelRay neighborhood.

Military & Mount Vernon

At present, Military Road and Mount Vernon Drive aren't even vaguely near each other. It is of course possible that road renaming has eliminated the intersection, but I haven't had any success in locating this one.

[Sections of Glebe Road were at one time also called the Military Road. Back before route markers and street signs became common, what a road was called often depended on who you asked or whose map you were using. - Dave]

Triangle Service Station

According to a 1931 display ad in the Washington Post, the Triangle Service Station (Esso) was in Arlington ("South Washington") at Mount Vernon Avenue and Military Road.

Service Station

It appears the road was recently re-asphalted what with dark pebbles on the entry apron. But the question for anyone who might have knowledge, what do the numbers 23 and 27 on the gas pump columns signify? Perhaps an earlier measure of octane, or simply the price at each pump? In any case, there does seem to be some sort of differentiation in the fuels.

[They mean 23 and 27 cents per gallon. - Dave]

Re: Antenna

In those days, even normal broadcast (medium wave) radios commonly used an outdoor random-wire antenna. Loop type antennas that were contained totally within the radio hadn't been invented yet.

23, 27

Why are there numbers 23 and 27 on the pumps? Were those early octane ratings, or prices for regular and premium (called high-test in those days)?

And, I think Triangle later merged with Cities Service, later Citgo.


Does anyone know what those gas-tank-looking things in the center behind the "Diamond" sign are?

[Lube carts -- mobile motor oil pumps that could be wheeled over to your car. - Dave]


Interesting to see the long-wire (shortwave) antenna suspended across the roof

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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