Tin Man #05528

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The Story

Old and very faded, an Atlantic gas pump is showing its age in rust and cracks in this portrait. The price of gas at 29.9 cents a gallon showing on its face can accurately carbon date this gas station relic from 1970 when it last worked. Its work life was spent as the solitary pump at a small country gas station sitting out in the rural Pennsylvania jingweeds. Time moves on as it always does, and the gas pump remained undisturbed in this condition to about 2015 when it was removed.

This picture is sort of a retirement portrait of gallons gone by. It celebrates nearly 50 years of watching the world move along on a narrow two-lane road out in the Pennsylvania backcountry. Elsewhere on this site, you can see the entire small country gas station as Roadside Sentinel #05520.

Noteworthy for a closed-down gas station, the weathered hose and nozzle laid in the overgrown weeds at the foot of the pump. They’re not often seen and usually long gone. Surprisingly, the glass Atlantic sign was still in place after being cracked into a spider web by a thrown stone. The blackened light bulb was still in the homemade overhead light fixture created out of regular plumbing pipe and fittings. As a result, that funky fixture resembled a hat to my thinking, so the title Tin Man came about.

Like all pumps of this vintage, this Atlantic gas pump doesn’t have a dollar column in the price readout…they never thought they’d need it! That remained true for many decades. But of course, as we all know, later we did need a price higher than 99 cents and the dollar column came to gas pump faces everywhere.

Location: near Saxton, Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Picture and story ©Andrew N Dierks

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