Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Remember the Old Gas Stations

Today I got an email from a close friend who was forwarding another email regarding the gas stations of days gone by. Among the many photos displayed of old gas stations was this one. In preparing to write this blog, I found that these photos had been posted by a gentleman named Dave Carter on his blog. You can find it here.

Many of you surely don't remember ever getting gas at a station like this. You may not even remember the days when you could drive into a gas station, sit in your car while an attendant hurried out to pump your gas and clean your windows and windshield. They would even check the air in your tires, open the hood and check the oil and the water in your radiator. Boy it's hard to find that kind of service today!

When looking at the pictures of the old gas pumps I was reminded of the days when I was just a small boy. At the station we went to, I remember that right near the pumps they had a square box about 3 ft by 4 feet, with a hand crank on BULK OIL. You can see that in the photo at left---the blue square box in the middle. In the 1920s and 1930s, many of the kitchens still had the KEROSENE cook stoves, so the gas stations had a prominent Kerosene dispenser also.

I remember in WaKeeney, Kansas on the south end of town there was a gas station that had the glass tank on top like in the picture at the top. We would first pump the gas up into the glass tank, then the gravity flow dispensed the gas. No electricity to the pumps!

That WaKeeney, KS station also bought our cream and eggs, and sold coal and a few groceries. I guess it was our version of today's "convenience store".

5 comments:

Apple said...

I don't remember ones like the top picture but I do remember full service stations. I also remember pumps out in the middle of nowhere where you fed a dollar in and then could pump that much gas. The stations around here still have kerosene pumps for those of us that heat with it.

Becky Jamison said...

This was a good subject that you chose to write about, Dad! Young people would have no idea what it used to be like. I'm glad I'm old enough to remember sitting in my car while Mike Peschka took care of everything for me!

GrannyPam said...

My father-in-law always ad a story about pumping the gas up the then filling the car, thanks for reminding me! I remember shortly after a group of us got driver's licenses, we went from station to station asking for 10 or 15 cents worth of gas. At that time, a gallon was 20 or so cents, so we weren't buying much. Then we rated the service: did we get our oil check? Windshield washed? and so on. It really didn't take much to entertain us in a small northern Michigan town.

Greta Koehl said...

Oh, I remember something about the old gas stations. Many of the gas stations in small-town Texas were still like this when my mom and I lived there in the late 60s and early 70s. My dad had a friend who owned a gas station and when I was a little girl he used to take me with him when he went to visit. So I got to be good friends with the soda machine at the station....

Janice Tracy said...

Thanks to Amy at We Tree, I just found your blog. I love it! And I will be reading more of it.