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Vintage Gas: 1920s Gilmore and Marland Filling Stations

It has been a while since we have featured any vintage filling station images, and for today a pair of 1920s photographs have been chosen. The lead photo is of Munro’s Corner Store, which sold groceries, animal feed and Gilmore Gasoline from four visible style pumps and one modern electric unit. The car at the right-hand pump is a mid-1920s Jewett touring car.

The second image below is a view of a tire company with a pair of electric pumps dispensing Marland gasoline. Of interest is the unique three-level pedestal with racks that conveniently hold different grades of motor oil. Parked behind the pumps at this facility is a mid-1920s Buick sedan.

Tell us what you find of interest in this pair filling station photographs both of which are in unknown locations. You can view more than 225-vintage gasoline station photos posted here earlier on The Old Motor. Today’s are via Ameristation.

25 responses to “Vintage Gas: 1920s Gilmore and Marland Filling Stations

  1. I suggest the touring car in the first photo is a Jewett, not a Chevrolet. Note the side mount spare tire held with straps. Jewett made a model with disc wheels and a covered spare on the side with straps in a three way design, qv.

  2. Groceries and Gas. These folks were well ahead of the curve and certainly pre-dated AM-PM filling stations. I wonder if they had a hideous mascot too…..

    And in the 2nd photo – did all oil containers come with spouts back then?

  3. Thanks for posting these crisp and clear vintage photos.I am a scale model and diorama builder and this type of information is priceltss for my research to create period correct details.

  4. While I agree it is not a Chevrolet (radiator shell and wheel dish are not the right shape), I have doubts of Jewett also. In the early ’20s there were still nearly a hundred viable automobile companies producing from a few dozen to a couple thousand cars per year. Most of them were mid-size assembled cars, of decent styling. Many of them, offering steel disc wheels as an option. After all, the wheels and hubs were readily available to the manufacturer as well as after-market accessories. And “anything to make a sale”. Paige and Jewett as well as quite a number of other companies offered them, and surviving cars indicate they sold quite a few with the option. I have a fair number of Paige and Jewett advertisements as well as a few pieces of original sales literature. Much of that stuff shows the cars with steel disc wheels.
    A close friend of mine has a Marmon model 34 with disc wheels, along with copies of original literature and the car’s history to indicate the wheels were original to the car and provided by Marmon. His may be the only surviving Marmon 34 so equipped.
    With all that, there just is not enough detail in that photo for me to claim a proper identification of the car. While overall it is quite Jewett-like, the location of the spare tire was common on Jewett cars, and still a couple years away for most of the industry. Windshield and fenders certainly could be right, along with the headlamp. It again falls on the radiator shell. It appears to have a curve in and up on the side. That wouldn’t work with Chevrolet or any Jewett I have seen. That fellow is just too much in the way (can you ask him to move over a bit?). Right by the fellow’s elbow, when I zoomed in as close as the detail would allow, it appeared the the lower edge of the upper part of the radiator shell angles up before going across to the other side. Jewett never did that.
    That curve could be a flaw in the lens of the camera, or subsequent photo copies. However, I don’t see any other indication of lens issues anywhere else in the photo.
    Regardless. A wonderful photo! Than you David G, again.

  5. Noticing the water can in the second pic, made me wonder when was the last time that water cans were a staple of gas stations.
    I had a leaky water pump two years ago and I had to buy 2 gal of drinking water from the convenience store/gas station.

    • Hi Roger, I believe those vintage water cans show up at flea markets from time to time. I bet many left the station unnoticed.

  6. Roger, thanks for pointing out the water can; it conjures up memories of when I briefly worked as a service station attendant in the late 1960s. The station was full service and Scot’s was the brand. Located in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. We didn’t have bottles of oil but we had all metal cans and a metal spout (no plastic bottles then). We also had air for the tires and we washed the window(s). Today consider yourself lucky if there is a squeegee to wash the windshield while YOU pump the gas!

  7. Around here, oil was sold in the quart bottles well into the 60’s, if not later. However, it was single viscosity, non detergent and generally used in vehicles that met the “Fill it will oil and check the gasoline” description.

    There were some real oil burners on the road. My brother in law traded my sisters perfectly good 1953 Kaiser for 55 Chevy that burned so much oil he had to check the level every 50 miles. Took him a long time to live that down. I’m not so sure she ever really forgave him.


  8. I worked at a Rotary gas station in the 60’s and the bulk oil was labeled as used oil re-refined. It was also sold in two gallon containers. The Rotary brand was from the Southern Oil Co. of Horseheads, N.Y., later known as “Kwikfill “

  9. It is a shame, what “service stations” have become. Now they are “convenience” stores where you pump your own gas. There is one of these stores on just about every corner in big cities and the are breeding grounds for crime and drug trafficking.

  10. The (1 Quart ) Glass oil containers with screw-on spout — were very useful at Service Islands and also very useful at the Lube Rack , to “top-off”. Another Useful item was: The Metal (opened top with anti-spill-rim and handle —Swing – down – (elbow ended) Spout with valve to control oil flow for cars that did not like to be filled quickly!!! (oil back-up & spillover) either of these were filled from the 20. 30, 40 weight Pennzoil — rectangular “floor tanks” that were Topped off by the Pennzoil Supplier Truck Each one of these tanks had their own pump that would be (crank-wound down and back up with 1 quart per cycle. Each Floor tank had a very large marked dipstick . Separately from these would be the 90 weight & 140 weight gear Grease directly from the 33 gallon grease barrels with crank-pumps.

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