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Memories of Gas Stations as a kid!


scot

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On my way home last night I suddenly remembered my father getting so upset at the gas attendents if they put his gas cap on the car as they pumped in the gas.

I remember that he would tell them to fill it up and don't put the gas cap on the car. Never failed they would forget.

Just a memory of growing up and the days when the caps were metal and not on a tether.

Scot

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I hung out at a Shell station as a teenager. The owner, Dutch, would let us use his wash bay and lift when it wasn't busy, if we helped out a little on the pumps when he got busy working on a car.

He had the standard Coke machine with the door you opened that you pulled the bottles out of the slot you wanted after putting in your dime. He had Coke in about 1/2 the slots because that was the big seller. The regulars all knew to pull out of the bottom slot instead of the ones at eye level. The eye level slots were the small 8oz bottles, the bottom slot had the big bottles.

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My dad always told the attendant to not fill the tank so full that it would run over and down the paint. That upset his a lot to have that happen. He didn't want to pay for gasoline that ended up on the ground but he also didn't want the paint on his car ruined.

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Even into the 1960s Dad would tell the attendant to "fill it with Ethyl". Never dawned on me until later that all gas at that time had ethyl in it, not just the high octane premium stuff. We did need to watch for the full service people "short sticking" when checking our oil... I wonder if anyone other than an old car collector even checks their oil at each fill up anymore.

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Yep, there was a time when there were full service gasoline stations.

I remember a couple guys would come running out when the car ran over the hose and rang the bell. The gas attendant had the little change clicker on his belt. One guy would check the oil and the other pumped the gas and did the windows. Tires that were for sale wrapped up with colorful paper and on stands. The old oil cans and the funnel/can opener used to dispense it. They even gave you road maps or other little things.

Those days are gone.

P.

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place- lincoln & venice blvd, venice,calif. time-1973, maurice's shell gas station, i was 17, and work there after school, took pride in giving customers good service. check oil, tires, wash the windshield, pump the gas, took payment, when things weren't busy, i would wax and polish my 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina. gas was about $00.35 per gallon, got paid $1.75 per hour. growing up in santa monica/venice then was good. charles coker, 1953 pontiac tech advisor.

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I always put the gas cap on the pump not on the car. Never forgot one either. That was the danger of not putting the cap on the car. Somehow I get the feeling your old man would have kept an eagle eye on this.

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What I remember is how many gas stations there aren't any more. In fact, I don't know of any traditional gas stations around here. They're all gas and convenience stores. When I was a kid, there was a Mobil, Texaco, Chevron, Shell and Gulf station within 1/4 mile of the end of my street - a station on every corner. About 1/2 mile from them was a Sunoco, a Getty and a no-name brand. They're all gone and have been for a number of years. I don't even know where I would go to get gas in my old neighborhood now.

Two things I remember - getting glasses or some other premium with a fill up and S&H Green Stamps.

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The gas station my dad took me to as a kid had a outside lift and inside the old place there was a soda machine that was a big tub filled with water that was chilled. You just grabbed a bottle from the water. The owner ran it by his self and had penny candy that you could buy for two for a penny. Mom would give me 10 cents extra a day for school and I got alot of candy for that amount of money

By the way, gas sold for 22 cents a gal. in 1960. Wow, have times changed.

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Our local station was a Sinclair on the corner of Elmhurst and McDonald roads in Prospect Heights, IL. It was a very old building with a large auto shop and pumps out front with glass globes. As a small kid I remember the owner as always covered with grease from head to toe, washing the windshield with a less than clean towel and some solvent that smelled like gasoline. I loved the smell of gasoline then, nothing like the evil crap today. My Dad always took good care of his cars, checked his own oil, etc. but I remember him getting his tires checked and aired up there. The air pump had a bell on it that would ring as the air went in, the ringing would slow down as you got to the set pressure, then stop. The inside of the shop was always full of old cars up on the lifts or with the hoods up, mostly prewar cars or very early 50s. The shop was incredibly dirty and there were old parts scattered everywhere - I absolutely loved it.

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The earliest gas atation that I remember was on the side of the river and there was a pit where they changed the oil from cars.

They just threw the oil to the side of the pit to rundown hill to the river, (how else would you get rid of it?)

My father used to get a drum of oil from another gas station and spread it on the dirt road in front of our summer cottage to keep the dust down. We were the envy of everyone on the road.

(name withheld to protect the guilty) :o

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I really miss the "ding-ding...ding-ding" of the bell as we rolled over the rubber tube in the driveways of the old stations. The smell of that gas...the noises of the mechanics in the depths of the garage...the little giveaway items...I miss it all.

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I grew up next door to the local service station. There are so many stories about it, I would take days to recount them. One of the best involves the local Amish boys who kept their car behind the garage. One came in one Friday evening to go out for some fun and couldn't get it to start. He walked around it several times kicking the tires in an attempt to stimulate it to start. After several attempts, he gave up got in his buggy and went home. Many mornings I walked out in the back yard to find passed out Amish sitting in their car. Then there was the time I shot all the windows out of a 36 Ford with my BB gun!!!

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Yes that old gasoline smelled much better and was not as nasty on your hands as this new stuff. We used it to clean alot of things.

One of my first real jobs before I even had a drivers license was working at a Gulf Gas Station. Still have many memories but do remember overfilling a fellow's automatic tranmission one day. He said he thought it was low and I tried to add a quart. When I saw it running over the fill tube I knew I screwed up. I put the drip stick back in the fill tube and said, she is full now. I never heard any thing from him or my boss thank goodness.

Remeber those old S and S green stamps we used to get for puchasing certain amounts that could be redeemed for various items.

Thanks for sharing the old station pictures they were really cool.

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Ron;

Thanks for the memory on the S&H green stamps. I had almost forgotten them. I remember riding with my mom to Lancaster to redeem her books of stamps about once a year (usually between Thanksgiving and Christmas).

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Was it Shell (in the 1960s) that gave away knives with every fill up? Whoever it was, my mother (87 years and going strong) still has five complete sets of steak knives (I think four made up a set) and swears by them to this day. Knives have never been sharpened. Whenever the entire family gets together at her home for dinner, besides the typical utensils, there is always the 'sharpest knife in the drawer' beside our plates.

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I well remember those S&H green stamps back when times were, shall we say more challenging. We had a new home with a twenty year mortgage, which was at times tough to make the monthly payment. My wife would save those stamps and 2 or 3 weeks before Christmas the kids Xmas gifts were bought or traded for the stamps at the redemption center. Now the Grandkids have 150 dollar skateboards. The stations we traded with are long gone replaced with convenience self serve neon lit monsters. But our life has been better also, as evidenced by our collector car choices. --Bob

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Two other brands of those "trading stamps" were Top Value (sometimes called T V stamps) and Plaid Stamps. One of my jobs was to put them into the books for my mom. :) Some stamps had a higher value than others and it might only take one to fill a page rather than LOTS :eek: of them. We got some really nice stuff with them.

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I remember the promotional give aways at stations as a kid.

Gulf stations had orange magnetic horse shoes or antenne balls.

A Mobil station we went to aside from glassware and knives gave out Hot Wheels cars.

Dad knew he had better not get gas without me being with! I remember digging through the piles of Hot Wheels to find the ones I wanted that week. Since we had 2 cars in the family I sometimes got more than one a week.

Those were the days. :rolleyes:

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I worked at a Standard station in the Spring/Summer/Fall of 1971. It was a great experience, seeing the posted pictures brought back some good memories. Pumping gas, checking oil, minor touble shooting after our service bay had closed for the day. Drove the wrecker several times to pick up a fender bender, stall or flat off I-75. I closed now and then and after balancing out the days drawer I would drive the days receipts over to the owners house to drop them off on the days that I did close. Gas price wars with the station across the street, current prices were 32 cents p/gallon and went down to 26 at the low point while I was there. And I agree the gas, and oil, did have a much better smell back then. Oh, and I did all this while in my last year of High School. Scott...

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I'll never forget when my oldest brother opened his brand new Atlantic station in 1963. I remember a man pulling in for gas with a 1951 Chevy slantback, the back seat was removed and he had a pony sitting in the back. It was the funniest thing to see. Those were great days gone by.................

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I remember washing the windshields on every fill-up, especially if a couple of cute girls were in the car! In fact I met my wife at the gas station!

You could also cruise around on a Friday or Saturday night on a dollars worth of gas. I remember going out in the rain (no roof over the pumps abck then) and pumping a dollar in gas and checking the oil many times on a rainy night.

How about the free air from the ECO Air Meter! You would have to watch the air meter because a guy would fill up his air shocks to 100 psi and a kid coming behind him would try to put the same 100psi in his bike tire! Pow!

One of the soda machines had Yoo Hoo. And what about ARCO Graphite Motor Oil? When that stuff leaked it made a heck of a mess on the engine!

Kenwood ARCO, Rosedale MD, that was the place!

Roland

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Great memories! S&H Green Stamps, maps and I do remember getting tiger tail at Esso I believe. Also plastic stick on horse shoes that I think came from the Gulf station.

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One of my earliest memories of a service station was when I followed my dad through a room where the mechanics hung out. On the walls were Playboy centerfolds and such and I was dumbstruck as that was my first view of an unclothed breast.I still don't get to see many. I guess I was about 8 or 9 and I remember feeling a warm sensation down below. It occured to me I might be in trouble if Dad saw me staring but if he knew he didn't say anything and I didn't go blind.

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I worked at a Sinclair station in 1961 and it was a dream job for me as a car crazed teenager. I learned a lot of basic mechanics: oil & lube, fixing flats, brake jobs and tune ups. We gave out blow up Dinos and top value stamps. It was a lot of fun! One customer with 55 Plymouth would sometimes come in twice in one day for $2 gas and always a small can of top oil (upper cylinder lube). Each time he came in he always wanted it checked under the hood and check all the tire pressures! Gas was 29.9 reg and 34.9 high test.

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I recall my father getting gas at his friend's Gulf station back in the '30's. The freebie then was a comic strip, and I'm thinking it may have been "Gasoline Alley". anyone else remember? In addition to the "ding" when the station's hose was crossed, the gas pump as well had a melodic one that sounded off as the gallons flowed in.

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I Still have 4 oklahoma coupons on the dash of my 1949 mercury, I used to save them in the 50s and get colman gas lanterns, to go smelt fishing at night in Chicago on lake michigan. Also the martin stations would give out stamps sometimes a bar of ivory soap and the sunday news paper on Saturday night. I used to buy the purple martin gas 29 cents a gallon. THE GOOD OLD DAYS Bill WEB 38

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I worked at a Mobil station back in the 60's. I remember well the ding dong, and had to drop what I was doing to put gas in a car. I had to check the oil, clean the windshield, and anything else the operator needed. We gave out S&H green stamps, 2 small stamps for every gallon.If the driver didn't want the stamps, we took off 2 cents per gallon. I also had a tiger tail sticking out of my dads 65 Impala gas neck. Back to the Mobil station, at 1 time we also gave out small drinking glasses, and pieces of the US, you stuck on a map. We used to go through the box of game pieces looking for instant winners, and when we had enough, we would send out one of of buddies to "Carols", the hamburg place, for supper.

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I remember as a kid in the late 40s-early 50s asking Dad to stop at the red star station (TEXACO) or the cowboy on the horse (FRONTIER) and get him to buy me a fire helmet or some give away that I'd seen advertised. Of course Mom always was watching for the green stamp or gold bond stamp signs. Licking stamps would keep us kids entertained after we got home. We didn't have a tv then. We'd grab a pop out of the COKE cooler, take it inside the station and pay a nickel for it. This was on the honor system. Dad would get upset if we jumped on the guy's bell hose on the way back to the car too. When I got old enough to drive I remember the price of gas didn't vary much from day to day or block to block, unless there was a gas war and it would drop from .25 down to 19 cents, sometimes only for a few hours. The old globes, signs and pumps still bring a smile to my face and have collected old gas station stuff for about 15 years or so. Lots of water under the bridge since then.

Rod:)

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Gas station bathrooms when I was little. :eek:

1.) Having my mom go in Lysol can in hand to make sure every germ was DEAD. :D

2.) Mom, or Dad if I was with him, making sure that the bathroom was not harboring some evil person that might hurt me. And making sure that it was clean enough to even go into with the can of Lysol. :o

3.) Machines on the wall with mysterious itmes in them. The machines took quarters and my mom and dad would never tell me what was in them. :rolleyes:

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Wow, what a subject! My father ran a Gulf station when I was really young. i think he got out of the business when I was about six or so, but I have memories of the place. He gave me and a friend a ride up on the lift once. I think we got about three feet off the ground, then chickened out.

I remember crawling through the new tires lined up under the counter...the soda machine was a chest type one with a lid, and you reached in where the sodas were in their own channels. you picked the kind you wanted, then moved it to the end, put in your nickel, and the machine's latch would release...I thought it was cool when the windows were decorated with crepe paper streamers, or when there were plastic pennants strung from the pumps to the building outside.

I was fascinated by the glass bulb on the side of the pumps, with the floating balls inside. I remember the jeep he kept there for errands and plowing. The rubber hoses that made the ding, which I and my friends would try to set off by jumping on them. The small bathrooms on the side of the building, and the key attached to a chunk of wood.

I remember a giant water fight one evening between the old man and a bunch of his cronies. Guys were running around with hubcaps full of water, trying to soak eachother.

The station had an ornate manual cash register with lots of buttons, and a crank on the side.

The station looked like a country cottage.

Alright, I'm stopping now....

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