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Just Rollin’ Along on Firestones

That’s exactly what Jules Verne Allen was doing when he posed for his portrait at this Firestone Service Station in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his faithful terrier, Jerry sometime in the early 1930s.  Throughout his career, Allen made the claim that he was the original singing cowboy performing long before stars like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers became well known.

Whether or not that’s true, his cowboy bona fides are beyond dispute. He did his share of riding and roping and even did stints as a deputy sheriff, immigration officer and Texas Ranger before he took up a less hazardous occupation in the show business. We at The Old Motor don’t know the degree to which Firestone sponsored Allen’s tuneful travels, but certainly hope that they threw a new set of tires for his Model “A” Ford his way once in a while.


The top photo today was taken at 701-705 West Central Avenue by the Brooks Studio, one of Albuquerque’s high quality commercial photographers, as were the interior shots shown in the thumbnails above and the photo below. They show a highly organized and squeaky clean store offering a wide variety of products and services for the modern motorist. One that’s no longer offered to the retail customer today is shown in the last thumbnail : the on-premises tire recapping service, an idea that has long since gone the way of the Dodo.

This last image shows the same location a few years later after an extensive refurbishing of the pump island and a fresh repaint of the entire establish-ment. Note the unusual gas pumps out front. We believe that they’re Gilbarco Display Pumps, one of which can be seen in this link. Their unique design provided secure display space for merchandise right in front of the gas buyer’s eyes. Firestone started franchising their “One-Stop Service Centers” in the mid-1920’s. They can still be found today all over the U.S and Canada.

Click here to hear a tune by Jules Verne Allen , “The Cowboy’s Dream”.  Photos courtesy  of The Albuquerque Museum.

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