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Scenes on the Streets of Boston – Part V


The enjoyable thing about many of the gas station photos posted on The Old Motor is how the once commonplace cars seen in them would be welcome at almost any car show these days. It looks like Ford products were very popular at this Shell station located on Massachusetts Avenue off Central Square, with one from each of the company divisions on the lot. We do see one lonely Plymouth in front of the service bays. The iconic scallop shell logo has been around since 1904 is one of the most recognizable trademarks in the world; you can learn the history behind the Shell Oil Company here.


This giant camera in the bed of yet another Ford product was parked at Ralph B. Cooke Square at Charles and Mt. Vernon Streets in 1955. It continues a tradition of signage that goes back to the days when a large portion of the population was unable to read, and oversized symbols were used to represent a business establishment and attract customers. Note the big brake light in the camera “lens”. You can see earlier parts of this series here. Send us a comment if you have any knowledge about what is seen in either photo. Images by Nishan Bichajian courtesy of the MIT Libraries.

3 responses to “Scenes on the Streets of Boston – Part V

  1. The big Shell logo was most definitely lit up at night. There is a high res image at MIT that when zoomed in shows it outlined in a maze of neon tubes. Must have been quite a sight.

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