This Atlantic service station located in Philadelphia, PA, was photographed in June of 1942, only a month after gasoline rationing began on the East Coast on May 15, 1942, by the end of the year the program expanded nationwide. The Office of Price Administration (OPA) which administered the program was created by an executive order on August 28, 1941.
The majority of motorists were issued an “A” sticker that entitled them to receive only four gallons of gas a week. Business owners, professional people, and those with with essential jobs, truckers, and those that needed to drive high mileage weekly were given either “B,” “C,” “T,” or “X” stickers that allowed them to purchase enough gas for their important needs.
In this scene, close to twenty automobiles are lined up waiting to receive their allocated supply of gasoline. The cars in the line range from 1941 or possibly 1942 models back to those produced in the mid-thirties. The owner of the eighth car in line drove a 1935-’36 Willys Model 77 and was able to travel close to 200-miles using four gallons of gas with the auto due to its 50-60 m.p.g. fuel economy. The remainder of the vehicles are all full-sized and could perhaps only travel about 80-100 miles with the same amount of fuel at the mandated speed limit of 35-m.p.h.
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