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September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day!

As we celebrate the accomplishments and contributions American
workers have made to our great country, let's take a look back at a
service industry which has largely disappeared from today's work place -

the humble Service Station attendant.

"No, children," you tell the young ones, "it's not a myth.  When I was
a young girl there were men and women at gas stations who pumped
the gas.  And they checked your oil and the pressure in your tires.
For free."  The young faces look up at you in shock and disbelief.

Service for less than 27 cents a gallon?  Amazing.

What's going on here?  One attendant is checking the tire pressure,
one is checking the oil level, and one is actually talking to the
driver.  Seeing is believing!

Full service included having your windshield
cleaned and your wipers checked.

Not only did Service Stations provide gas, they also gave away prizes such as glass tumblers, key chains, and even food.

During WWII, while the men were away, women often filled
the jobs of gas station attendants.  Victory Girls was a popular
chain with a loyal patriotic patronage. 

A free Pepsi and a hot dog with any fill up!

Early attempts at 'self-service' were a dismal failure.  "Pump our own gas?"
shocked customers asked.  Even the tempting 5 cent reduction in price
wasn't enough of an inducement to attract patrons.  It was several decades
before self-service caught on and, unfortunately, 'stayed on'.

Yes, we have plenty of gas stations today.
We just don't have many service stations.

Have a great Labor Day.


  1. Wonderful pictures. I remember those days of full service stations.

  2. Awww, the good old days . I liked all those pictures of old service stations. Now, when you's crazy to even get in the building to pay...too many people carrying their "I like my soda in a gallon container ", I have my scratch off tickets and can't wait to get home to scratch them, so I scratch them in the doorway, or they are lighting up their cigarettes(that they buy there also) as they go out the door. LOL, I am just having a bit of fun...making fun. Can't help myself. Blessings to all. xoxo, Susie

  3. I love this post. Up until about ten years ago we had a full service station in town. I always went there, because the extra 5 cents a gallon didn't seem like much when you got your windshield washed, your water and oil checked, your tire pressure checked and at this station if you got a fill up, you also got to drive through their car wash free. It was more than worth the extra 5 cents a gallon on gas. I miss it :) My daughter lives in Oregon and you are not allow to fill your own tank in Oregon, so all the stations have service attendants.

  4. Strangely enough, some of the Shell stations here now have attendants again. They said it is because some tourists expect them. I don't know where these tourists are coming from!
    Happy Labour Day.

  5. Hi Jan! Happy Labor Day to you too!

    Boy, I WISH they'd offer a 5 cent break on gas again. There would be a stampede! I remember the gas station attendants. The first time I had to pump my own gas, I was so nervous..

    Great vintage photos today :)

  6. those were the days.. I wish we had that now.. because I hate filling my tank, my windows always need washing, and I hate checking my oil and putting air in my tires.. thank God for my husband! lol!
    thanks for a great post!
    have a great week

  7. Love those vintage photos! There are some great classic cars! Oh, I do remember those wonderful days! I always have trouble getting my gas cap off!
    Enjoy this short week!
    hugs, xoxo