Wastelands of Suburbia

A place where the cast-off ephemera of the last four generations comes to rest, and is discussed fondly....Like junk, or the injection-molded minutiae of history? Welcome home...Junkyards, yard sales, roadside oddities, thrift stores and more-your memories are deep inside the box, so keep shaking.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Sweet, Crunchy Joy of Recognition.

Whilst cruising through Berwick, PA with the beautiful Dr. Girlfriend recently, I began to react to a landmark with familiarity....this was odd, you see, because I had never been down this particular street before in my life....the small car lot sales office above is what I saw....

For the life of me, I could not remember at first where I had seen it, but it soon came to me-it is a vintage Shell station-you see, in a previous life I was a gas jockey, and quickly became interested in the various architectures of different oil companies' stations..This small Shell dates back to the 1930s if I am not mistaken. Here's a stock photo of one:

(This photo is probably originally from company literature...it has appeared in various books I have read and owned about gas stations, so I can't really properly credit it.)

One of the tactics used in the early days of gas stations was the 'homey' design of stations like the one you see here-the idea was, if a person felt as if they were going to someone's home, they would be more comfortable with pulling in for gas. As more women began driving during and after WWII, this and other methods were employed to get their business. Texaco's "Registered" restrooms was one such method-a company inspector would make rounds to franchises and check the restrooms for cleanliness, giving them their seal of approval. Texaco then used this in their ad campaigns, with the slogan "Something a Lady Appreciates". The signs also appeared outside the station restrooms:

Sometime later, the restrooms became "certified"-it is likely the certification was merely with Texaco, not unlike the "registration" before it... But "certification" sure sounds official enough when you are needing to badly take a dump and are worried about pubic crabs being able to pole-vault out of an unfamiliar john via tossed out matches floating in the water. For you, the travelling shitter, this was surely a relieving sight:

(Aahhhhh....no chance of unwanted pregnancy at THIS unfamiliar gas station! It's CERTIFIED!)

Speaking of Texaco, on another side street we spotted THIS used car lot, which has the giveaway green and white porcelain enameled exterior that could only come from the Sign of The Star:

I've been poking around for a picture of a 'corner' design Texaco Station like this one, in original Texaco livery-if anyone sees one, let me know, I want to post it for comparison.


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