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Pepper “Winter Lightning” and Three other Gasoline Stations in Cincinnati

Today we take a look at four filling stations active in Cincinnati, Ohio, between the years of 1939 and ’59. The lead image dated to November 29, 1939, by the source is appropriate for this time of year. It features four Neptune Chemical Pump Company motor fuel dispensers at a Pepper gasoline station located in the Cincinnati. The Oil Company’s “Winter Lightning” blend of gasoline, then as now, was blended to improve vaporization in cold temperatures to improve winter starting.

Please share with us what you find of interest in these photographs courtesy of the Cincinnati Museum Center.

  • The Skurow Brothers filling station and garage was located at 727 West 4th St. when this City property records photograph was taken on September 1, 1959.

  • This Sohio Standard Oil Co. filling station was located at 964 West Court St. when this City property records photograph was taken on September 1, 1959.

  • Neptune Chemical Pump Company fuel dispensers standing like silent sentry’s photographed on November 1, 1939 at a Crest Oil Company filling station in the City.


18 responses to “Pepper “Winter Lightning” and Three other Gasoline Stations in Cincinnati

  1. In the second photo is a 4 door ’57 Chevrolet 150. A favorite for drag racers due to it’s lightweight compared to the more popular Bel Air. In a 2 door of course.

  2. In Item 1 of 3, there’s two ’57 Chevys on the left…the dark one with some official insignia on its door, a One-Fifty sedan On the right a ’49 Buick Roadmaster sedan. The Hudson appears to be a ’48 or ’49 Commodore.

    In Item 2 of 3, I see a ‘58 Chevy Brookwood wagon and a ’57 Ford Fairlane 500…either a Club Hardtop or Club Sedan. The B-pillar was that slender that at this distance I can’t be at all certain.

  3. The tank truck is a ’37-’39 IH D 60, ( biggest one they made, I think) single axle , trailer too, maybe 5,000 gallons total. While , when adjusted for inflation, gas hasn’t gone up that much, not the same can be said for oil. At $1.12 for a 2 gallon can, that’s about .14/quart( or $2.54 today). Auto parts stores charge over $7 bucks a quart today. 2nd pic, ’57 Chevy’s were hot. The box truck looks like a mid-’50’s Ford F500, and a road tractor next to it. Now here, 20 years later, oil is still pretty cheap, $1.50 for 2 gal. The trans sealer, not so cheap. 3rd pic, those outside oil racks the ’57 Ford is on, were very popular. I read, “Kenyon Barr” referred to the west end of Cinncinati. Does anyone know the meaning of the signs? Last pic, looks like a Ford AA truck on the oil rack. Oil here is two-bits a quart.( although, it is Pennzoil, we don’t know what the other brand was), anti-freeze, not cheap either, at $2.45 a gallon, I presume, in 1939, that’s almost $45 dollars today. No wonder most people just used water.

    • Kenyon Barr was a neighborhood that was demolished by the city as part of a master plan urban renewal project. Over 20,000 residents were displaced and 2000 buildings razed. The sign was a photographic record of the buildings to be razed, the numbers I assume were the assigned identification. I’ve seen similar photographs of other buildings with the man in the white shirt holding the sign. I’m guessing the men behind him might be the former owners of the building that will soon be razed.

    • And not seeing any differentiation on the pumps, apparently the station sold only one grade of fuel. How successful would that have been back then unless this was some sort of low price outfit?

  4. Nice to see the front of a circa ’48 Hudson parked next to what AML has identified as a ’49 Buick Super sedan in the second photograph. In the corner is what looks to be a ’57 Chevy 150 sedan which is not nearly as nice looking as the more expensive Bel Air model which one could purchase back then for only around $200.00 extra dollars.

  5. I imagine the Buick hood ornament is a rocket with some kind of ring of fire?
    Kind of like the Champion Spark Plug ads with a spark plug flying through the air with an accompanying ring of fire all around it.Theyre popular now as tattoos I hear.

  6. Looking at all these photos, I wonder when the integration of water and air hoses at each pump began and who started that off. Dad ran a station after the war before was born, so never really thought about it, though he did have a number of those glass oil fillers with spouts after he sold the station.

  7. I remember when gasoline tanker trucks dragged a length of chain behind them, supposedly to “bleed off” static electricity. Don’t see that any more.

    • There are other, similar ways to bleed off static electricity , some still in use by some folks…grounding straps, though many dispute their usefulness.

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