The Gas Station in America

The Gas Station in America

Book - 1994
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Baker & Taylor
Recounting the history of gas stations, from 1911 to their contemporary decline, a comprehensive examination notes their evolution and place in popular culture

Book News
Presents a comprehensive history of the American gas station, its architecture, its place in the landscape and in popular culture, and its economic role as the most visible manifestation of the country's largest industries. Examines how the gas station evolved in response to America's growing mobility, describes oil company marketing strategies, and documents reasons for the gas station's abrupt decline in recent decades. Illustrated with some 150 photos and reproductions of gas stations, vintage ads, maps, and memorabilia. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
Why were early gas stations built to resemble English cottages and Greek temples? How does Teddy Roosevelt's busting of the Standard Oil Trust in 1911 relate to the lack of Exxon and Chevron stations in the Midwest today? What corporate decisions and economic pressures lay behind the Bauhaus-inspired stations of the 1930s? Is there a link between feminism and the rise of the Gas'n'Go-style convenience store? What have gas stations symbolized in the American experience?
Geographer John Jakle and historian Keith Sculle have teamed up to write a unique and comprehensive history of the American gas station - its architecture, its place in the landscape and in popular culture, and its economic role as the most visible manifestation of one of the country's largest industries. Here is the definitive book on the subject, from the first curbside filling stations - with their juryrigged water tanks and garden hoses - to the nationwide chains of look-alike stations whose design pioneered the "place-product-packaging" concept copied by motels and fast-food restaurants.
Jakle and Sculle begin with a look at how the gas station evolved in response to America's growing mobility. They describe the oil company marketing strategies that led to the familiar brand names, logos, uniforms, and station designs that came to dominate the nation's highways. They explain why certain companies and their stations thrived in certain regions while others failed. And they document the reasons for the gas station's abrupt decline in recent decades.
Illustrated with more than 150 photos and drawings - of gas stations, vintage advertisements, maps, and memorabilia - the book offers a wealth of information and colorful details.
The first architect-designed gas station - a Pittsburgh Gulf station in 1913 - was also the first to offer free road maps; the familiar Shell name and logo date from 1907, when a British mother-of-pearl importer expanded its line to include the newly discovered oil of the Dutch East Indies; the first enclosed gas stations were built only after the first enclosed cars made motoring a year-round activity - and operating a service station was no longer a "seasonal" job; the system of "octane" rating was introduced by Sun Oil as a marketing gimmick (74 for premium in 1931).
As the number of "true" gas stations continues its steady decline - from 239,000 in 1969 to fewer than 100,000 today - the words and images of this book bear witness to an economic and cultural phenomenon that was perhaps more uniquely American than any other of this century.

Baker
& Taylor

Recounting the history of gas stations, from Teddy Roosevelt's busting of the Standard Oil Trust in 1911 to their contemporary decline, a comprehensive examination notes their evolution and place in popular culture. UP.

Publisher: Baltimore, MD : The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994
ISBN: 9780801847233
0801847230
Branch Call Number: 338.4762 JAK

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