Even though today’s image appears to be a promotional photo for “Violet Ray” gasoline that debuted a month earlier, in actuality it gives the impression, that it is a press photograph that is dated November 12, 1928, taken for F. Billie Wilcox of Centralia, Washington. Apparently, Wilcox was an agent for the E.C. Bristol Co. also located in Centralia and sold Mutual Benefit Health & Accident insurance policies for the Company. Wilcox’s four-door sedan is by an unknown maker which we are hopeful our readers can identify.
“Violet Ray” anti-knock gasoline, was refined by the General Petroleum Corp. based in Los Angeles. The “San Jose News” October 3, 1928, issue contained an article on the front page about the Oil Company’s rollout of the new and improved violet-colored motor fuel introduced at “3500 of its dealers in the Pacific Coast States.” The color of the gasoline was no doubt chosen so it would stand out in the clear glass display cylinders of the “visible” pumps of the era.
View images of filling stations in the Los Angles area selling another brand of gasoline with a similar color, “Purr Pull,” that was produced by the Signal Oil Company. Over 240 photos of other vintage filling stations can be seen here in earlier coverage. The picture is via Ameristation.