Before gas stations, pharmacies were the first establishments to sell gas as a side business. The world’s first gas station was built in 1905 in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1907, the second gas station was built in Seattle, Washington, by Standard Oil of California, which today is known as Chevron. Gas stations were first referred to as "filling stations,” then “full service,” and today most are called “self-service" stations. A "full service" station usually had a uniformed attendant, who at no extra charge used to operate the pump, wiped your windshield, check your oil and tires; a mechanic was on duty to fix your car. You paid the attendant for the gas at the pump, never having to leave your car. The "full service station" has mostly disappeared except for the states of New Jersey and Oregon, which have made it illegal to pump your own gas. They said it is too dangerous to dispense flammable liquid.
Self-service stations have installed pay before you pump credit card machines, due to customers who
drive-off without paying. The stations now have become restaurants for fast foods, convenience stores, beverage stores, and gambling vendors. (Return to Gallery)
Schwartz and Son Texaco
Uniondale, Indiana September 1975