Apparently, the first places that sold gasoline were drugstores.
Henry Ford's mass-production of cars lowered prices and greatly increased car sales, and the need for filling stations.
The world's first gas station was built in St. Louis, Missouri in 1905 at 412 S. Theresa Avenue. The second gas station was constructed in 1907 by Standard Oil of California (now Chevron) in Seattle, Washington. (info from Wikipedia)
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
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Historians have debated a claim for a state historical marker—dedicated July 11, 2000—for the “1st Drive-In Filling Station” opened between December 1 and 9, 1913, at the corner of Baum Blvd. and St. Clair St., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Gasoline was first sold as a side business at places like hardware, general stores, and even pharmacies. Claims to firsts exist in St. Louis, Missouri (1905), Detroit, Michigan (1907), Seattle, Washington (1907), and Reighard’s gas station in Altoona, Blair County (1909). However, according to Wayne Henderson, author of twelve books on petroleum history, those facilities converted existing structures into use as filling stations. The technicality on which the Pittsburgh Gulf station has legitimate claim to a state historical marker it that it was the first station architecturally designed and built for the specific purpose as a drive-in filling station. Since Gulf merged with Standard Oil Company, under the Chevron brand, in 1984, Chevron is able to lay claim in two directions. The Seattle claim does seem to be more about the means of dispensing gasoline than it is about a facility for motorists.
Fred J. Lauver
Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine
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