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Oklahoma Service Station – One Stop Shopping

This Oklahoma Service Station was actually in New Mexico and it was aimed at getting much of its business from migrants from Oklahoma. It appears to have anything a traveler could possibly need. The station was also a Valley Transit Lines Bus Depot and in addition had, Texaco gas, Quaker State Oil, tires, rooms, fishing tackle, Oklahoma newspapers, tourist supplies and a ladies rest room. The Library of Congress photo comes to us via Joe Sonderman. Can any of our readers tell us where this station was located?

4 responses to “Oklahoma Service Station – One Stop Shopping

  1. Can’t tell you where it’s at, but I can identify the pickup. 39-47 Dodge WC 1/2 ton.

    I have one just like it in the garage.

  2. Also, if this were a picture taken today, that young man walking in would be in the same pose.

    But there’d be an iPhone in his hand.

  3. This is Questa, New Mexico. The image was taken in September 1939 by photographer Russell Lee. The building at the far right is one of the Questa grocery stores. The hose connected to the gas pump seems strangely long.

    In 1940 the town had a population of about 1,450 people. Examining the 1940 U.S. Census reveals that there were only six people born in Oklahoma living there. Certainly they couldn’t have been selling too many Oklahoma papers. The location is remote enough that, even if migrants came to the town annually to assist with harvesting crops, the business name seems rather unusual.

    By January 1943 the building had been converted into a Conoco service station, but the structure is still clearly the same. You can view the updated structure, photographed by John Collier, at the following link with what looks like a 1941 Ford pickup at the left of the building.

    www dot loc dot gov/pictures/resource/fsa.8d45032/

  4. The pump hose is long so it can reach around a vehicle parked at the pump, depending where the vehicle was positioned. The pump is gravity fed, meaning that the glass cylinder was pumped full of gas depending on how many gallons you wanted… They would pump it to that level… say ten gallons, then squeeze the handle on the nozzle releasing the fuel into your tank… need 20 gallons, the process was repeated twice. Most cars and trucks rarely held over ten gallons until the 30’s, then was never much over 16-18.

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