This smiling crew of gas pump jockeys posed for Northern, CA, photographer J.H. Eastman at a Union Oil Company filling station located at the corner of Main and North Streets in Susanville, CA, in 1936. The building is a prefabricated steel structure of the type that was popular at that time.
There are two types of pumps in use at this station. The three tallest ones are hand-operated “visible” style units that contain a pump in the base operated by a lever to pump gas into the round glass cylinder at the top; from there, the fuel was gravity-fed into a vehicle’s gas tank. The shorter pumps on the far left and right of the pump island are more modern electrically-powered units. In the center is a motor oil fountain that dispensed different grades and weights of oil.
The prices of the two fuels offered were between eighteen cents a gallon to twenty-two cents that included the four-cent a gallon state tax. Three types of gasoline were available; a high-octane leaded blend on the far left of the building, leaded Union “76,” and “White Magic,” an un-dyed mixture.
The Union Oil Company was founded in 1890 and was based in San Ramon, California. Union was in operation until 2005 when it became a part of the Chevron Corporation.
Please share with us what you find of interest in this photo courtesy of the UC Davis Library.