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Minute Service No. 1: 1925

Minute Service No. 1: 1925

Washington, D.C., circa 1925. "Minute Service Station, 17th & L streets N.W." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Below is the same view from May of 2015.

Many faces of Standard Oil

The Standard Oil in DC was the New Jersey company, and fits the bill for the pre-bust comment. American Oil was not part of the Trust, Amoco was based in Baltimore before Indiana Standard acquired it. Sun Oil (Sunoco) was also not part of pre-1911 Standard Oil. It did buy in to the Standard legacy when it bought the remains of the old Atlantic Refining Company of Philadelphia (Atlantic) from Arco in 1988. Atlantic was part of pre-1911 Standard. Sunoco's A-plus convenience stores are the biggest legacy of old Atlantic.

You don't see that anymore

I have to say that all gasoline stations of the 30-40's just seem so much nicer, safer and friendlier places than they are today. Perhaps it is because you have people waiting to assist you, the down side of course it that they closed, they certainly were not open 24 hrs a day. I would love to visit that station and ask them to "fill er up."

Oiling and Greasing

A fine modern design by architect Robert F. Beresford, previously seen in final construction. Beresford aided in the design of the adjacent Mayflower Hotel as well as other service stations seen on Shorpy including Minute Service Station No. 3, and Lord Baltimore No. 6. Other Minute Service Stations seen at Shorpy are No. 2 and No. 5.

I find the advertisement for the L street Garage interesting in that original business model for the garage was to provide overnight, heated parking for the finicky autos of the day. The L street Garage was later renamed Mayflower Garage and provided parking for both guests of the hotel as well as shoppers on Connecticut Avenue. The service station and garage were razed in 1960 to make way for office space.

Washington Post, Apr 9. 1922

Open Largest Gas Station Tomorrow

New Building is Last Word in Completeness,
Beauty, Speed and Arrangement.

Washington's largest and most attractive gasoline station will be opened for business tomorrow. The announcement will be of interest, particularly to motorists of the large northwest section, and will mark the coming of something new in gasoline stations.

The Washington Accessories Company, composed of Messrs. W.T. Gallither, president of the American National Bank; C.E. Galliher, of W.T. Galliher & Bro., lumber dealers and Allan E. Walker, president of Allan E. Walker & Co., is the owner of the new enterprise, which represents an investment of more than $150,000, in ground, building and equipment.
Particular stress is laid on the fact that the station is so designed as to have free entry to every pump for either side, and to make it possible to drive out when ready, no matter how many cars are at the pumps ahead.

Calling attention to a rapidly growing evil in gas stations - that of tipping - the company announces that its employees are positively forbidden to accept tips under any conditions.
A large two-story granite stucco building has been erected on L street. This houses the accessories store. A very complete stock of automotive supplies will be carried, and both wholesale and retail business will be featured.

A second building, similar in construction, in in the rear of the first, and contains an auto laundry, battery station, and tire repair departments.
Edward E. Lipphard, who has been connected with the automobile accessory business in Washington for several years, and who enjoys a wide acquaintance, throughout the Capital, will manage the new enterprise.

(click to enlarge)

Washington Post, Sep 30, 1923

New Garage Opening

The L Street garage, a new four-story, fireproof garage building, located at 1705 L street northwest, will be opened for business tomorrow, according to an announcement made by the company.

The garage will be operated by the L Street Garage company incorporated, which is owned by Galliher-Walker Investment corporation. D.M. Gordan is the manager of the new enterprise. It adjoins the splendid filling station and accessory store of the Washington Accessories Company which is owned by the same corporation.

The L Street garage is a splendid 4-story, fireproof building with lime-stone front, which presents a very attractive appearance. It is located on a lot 43 by 130 feet with over 5,500 square feet of floor space on each floor, a total of over 22,000 square feet.

One of the unusual features of this building is that the supporting pillars are place within four feet of the side walls, thus leaving practically the entire width of the building free for easy movement and arrangement of cars. Very liberal window space provides unusual light on every floor. Wide entrances are located on L street and on the alley at the rear of the building. Offices and an accessory store are located on the the first floor with comfortable and attractive waiting rooms adjoining. A ladies' rest room is located on the mezzanine.

(click to enlarge)

17th and L

Looking northwest. Tom has correctly identified the Mayflower Hotel (the only landmark)

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This appears to be looking north on 17th Street with the Mayflower Hotel in the background.

A real life game of Monopoly

It was actually quite common for the full service stations of early days to give patrons a choice of petroleum brands. Just look in the Shorpy archives at other 1920's filling stations and you will see many stations with various "brands" at their pumps. However all of these particular brands are related. Standard Oil of John D. Rockefeller fame was broken up in 1911. But Amoco, Sun Oil and Standard were all once part of the Rockefeller monopoly that got trust-busted.


I see Amoco, Sunoco, and Standard. How many brands do they have at one station?

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