Gas Pumps and Gas Stations
Gas pumps and gas stations have been nearly everywhere in the modern American world in the last 100 years. Pulling up to the gas pump to fill up the car at a gas station is a ritual we all know and have done repeatedly. Of course, it still goes on today as always, but the appearance of those gas pumps and gas stations has changed dramatically. Old roadside America has disappeared into nostalgia.
Nowadays, many urban gas stations are large, glossy, and slick modern affairs with gas pumps that take credit cards. There’s also usually at least a little store section selling food and snacks. But further out down the two-lane roads through rural towns and villages, there’s less size, glitz, and more function, usually with a modern gas pump. Fortunately for a long-time traveler like myself, a road warrior can still get a coffee of varying qualities at almost all of them.
But what is never seen these days are the gas pumps of old as shown in this gallery. I’m writing of the old Gilbarco, Tokheim, and other pumps that never had a column to display dollars on the readout…they never thought the day would come when gasoline would be over a dollar a gallon, heaven forbid! Those old gas pumps were typically tall with rounded shoulders and the oldest of them had lighted glass globes on top. They were the stylish trend in fossil fuel retailing at filling stations back in their day.
As we all know, over time gasoline prices have long since gone past a dollar. But it’s interesting to see some of the prices remaining on the faces of these old gas pumps. The oldest that still had a readout showed only 29 cents a gallon. Yes, point-two-nine a gallon; that’s not a typo. Others had prices like sixty cents a gallon for gasoline, or thereabouts. Imagine.
Over time, these old gas pumps have nearly completely disappeared as collectors and petroliana enthusiasts gathered them up or were simply retired and scrapped. They’re just not out there in the wild anymore. They’re nearly extinct. The only way to find an old gas pump is in use on a farm somewhere, such as the green Sinclair Dino gas pump in this gallery, and I feel lucky to have found that particular fossil fuel relic in recent times.
Also here, writing of relics, you’ll see some very old gas pumps from the twenties and thirties that ended up in a junkyard as part of a junkman’s private stash. They’re just hollowed-out rusty skeletons today, forerunners of the classic pumps mentioned above, but still very cool to behold as they stand lined up three in a row.
Then there is gasoline station architecture, the old roadside buildings of the past, the real old roadside America. If you watch closely while driving out the country roads and in small towns, those small old filling stations can still be seen without their gas pumps and signs and often converted to other uses, if not completely abandoned.
All the pictures in this gallery are available as quality prints on paper with or without mats, canvas, or as super high gloss prints. As always, shipping is free to the USA. ~Andy