Vintage Kodachrome Snapshots: Gas Stations of the 50s and 60s

click on images for larger size

Time to go back and pay another visit to Dave Gelina’s Flickr page of his collection of vintage Kodachorme (mostly) slides. This time I visited his gas stations and signs album, and picked out some of them. Is it’s a theme we can easily relate to. these shots from the 50s and 60s make clear how drastic the evolution of the gas station has been, from bucolic country pumps in front of the general store and the typical urban corner gas station with its two pumps and two service bays, to today’s self-serve mega-pumpers. And note what a huge variety of companies were selling gas back then.

This first shot is worthy of a calendar, a winter shot of a Texaco station in upstate NY, if I remember correctly.

Here’s something from a warmer clime.

 

These two gals undoubtedly keep their elderly Chrysler clean and well maintained.

 

 

Uniforms, with hats no less.

 

A ’63 split-window Corvette getting fed.

 

 

Atomic City, Idaho’s store, post office and gas station.

 

 

Here’s one from Canada. I know of BP, but not BA.

 

Cape Cod.

 

Sturgis, South Dakota.

 

Waiting for the next customer.

 

Cola time while the car gets filled up.

 

Pumps in front of the Lunch Room.

 

 

Dressed in their Sunday finery, in Dentom, NC.

An already older urban station.

 

From around 1950 or so.

 

Filling up in Pennsylvania, in the winter.

 

Dowd’s Store, in Fibre, MI.

 

A house fire nearby. Better that than the gas station.

 

 

 

Humble stations.

 

Typical country store and gas pumps in Hunter’s Run, PA.

 

These pumps are in front of Zimmerman’s Hardware store, in Intercourse, PA. Note the non-gas consuming vehicles just past the pumps.

 

One from the Amalfi Coast area of Italy. Gas stations were always a rather different format over there. Just gas; service was at garages. I guess they were ahead of us in that way.

 

Another country store in East Derry, NH. Jenny gas.

 

Classic four pumper in the early 60s.

 

This is in Los Angeles.

 

Lehigh Acres. Sounds like Pennsylvania to me.

 

Letzler’s Motors, a Chrysler-Plymouth dealer as well as Mobilgas.

 

Los Vegas, naturally.

 

Small town Missouri. Gravel instead of pavement. The water spigot probably got used a lot.

 

Lake George, NY.

 

 

Paul’s has their own plow truck. This is who bought 4×4 pickups back then.

 

 

Rudy’s Garage in San Diego. No need for covered garages.

 

Nice fastback Chevy.

 

A ’54 Buick Skylark.

 

An urban gas station in Boston is also home to a small taxi company.

 

 

 

The free air pump at gas stations was always a draw for kids and their bikes.

 

Looks like a Model A in front of this neighborhood Sunoco station.

 

No self serve back then.

 

The joys of winter.

 

Presumably the proud owner of his own business.

 

I was not a fan of those low GM gas fillers when I was a gas jockey.

 

 

 

 

 

The previous three shots are from a Union 76 station in Santa Ana, CA. Not that there are two other stations across the intersection.

 

I love these fine old stations from the late 1920s that were tiled.

 

Taking the kids for a ride in the Metro.

 

 

 

Dressed up.

 

I’ll end with this bucolic station, as it’s about as different as our gas stations today as possible.