Fill’er up! Texaco Tanker Truck

The 1917 photo below is the Reed Brothers original Rockville Garage located at the intersection of Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike. To the right is a Texaco Gasoline Filling Station sign. One very tall Texaco branded fuel pump can be seen in this photo along with two Texaco Petroleum refueling trucks. The gas pump globe on the top advertises the gas company name and logo. Parked in front is a line-up of some very early Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicles.

Note the unpaved dirt road on Rockville Pike and trolley tracks running past the dealership. From 1900-1935, the trolley cars went past Reed Brothers Dodge as they traveled up Rockville Pike. Major stops along the line included Georgetown, Alta Vista, Bethesda, Montrose, Halpine, the Fairgrounds, Courthouse Square, and Chestnut Lodge.

1917 Original Rockville Garage

1917 Original Rockville Garage with 2 story addition. Note the Texaco Filling Station signage and the Texaco Petroleum fuel truck refilling the single pump in front. Photo by Lewis Reed

At some point between prior to 1920, Reed Brothers Dodge changed over from selling Texaco and became a Gulf Gasoline dealer. Reed Brothers had the first Gulf gas station in the still-rural Washington D.C. area. (click on images to enlarge)

1917 Texaco tanker truck

1917 Texaco tanker truck. Photo by Lewis Reed

A Texaco Petroleum Truck sits in front of Rockville Garage after delivering its load of fuel. On the side of the tanker is a hinged wooden box carrying 2-drums of a Texaco product. The delivery driver seems to be wearing his best suit on this job, something that you don’t see these days at all.

In addition to Texaco gasoline, Rockville Garage also carried a full line of Texaco lubricants, Fisk tires, Willard batteries and many other well known brands of merchandise.

The most essential vehicle of the early 20th century had to have been the tanker truck. In the pioneering period of tanker trucks, 1910 to 1920, the Texas Company was among many that were fitted with tanks to carry refined products such as gasoline, kerosene and fuel oil.

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

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