Tag Archive | good gulf gasoline

1953 Reconstruction of Gulf Gasoline Station

Due to changes in the highway, Reed Brothers Dodge began an extensive remodeling and rebuilding program. The program consisted of a sizable addition to their Service Department which enlarged the Showroom area and housed the Parts Department. Two-thirds of the original location at the junction of then Route 240 and Veirs Mill Road was razed and a modern Gulf Service Station was erected. The following photos were taken before demolition and after reconstruction of the Gulf Gasoline station.

Before Demolition

Gulf Gasoline Station

1936 Reed Brothers Dodge canopied Gulf Gas Station prior to 1953 reconstruction of Gulf Gasoline Station. View Rockville Pike side

Gulf Gasoline Station

1936 Reed Brothers Dodge canopied Gulf Gas Station prior to 1953 reconstruction of Gulf Gasoline Station. View Veirs Mill Road side.

After Reconstruction

Gulf Gas Station

After reconstruction of new Gulf Gas Station, view from Rockville Pike

Like many building types of commercial and roadside industries, gas stations often underwent alterations or changes over time. Reed Brothers Gulf Gas Station underwent five alterations over the course of 55 years that were built to follow corporate design. The famous Gulf “ice box” design dates back to late 1930’s, and there were probably more of these built than any single one of the later Gulf designs.

1953 GULF GAS STATION

The Montgomery County Sentinel. November 12, 1953

From The Montgomery County Sentinel. June 04, 1953

Reed Brothers Will Move June 13 to New Building

Reed Brothers, second oldest Dodge dealer, which has been serving the county for 38 years, is moving from its present location at the point of the Veirs Mill Road, Route 240 triangle in Rockville to a modernized location nearby at 608 East Montgomery Avenue. Open House will be held June 13 from 6p.m. to enable residents to view the new structure.

The automobile firm will have greatly enlarged quarters in the new location, with increased floor space for the new car department and the repair department. A completely new parts department and a modern service department where the tradition of service that has been built up by this firm through the years will be carried on, and if possible, improved.

The service department will be completely equipped with parts for all Chrysler made cars and will have facilities for repair of all makes of cars. The paint and body shop will be one of the best equipped in the area and the glass department will be prepared to install any or all automobile glass and also to prepare custom cut glass for any other use.

The shop and sales offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and will remain open until 6 p.m. Saturdays.

The familiar triangle gasoline station will be razed and an ultra-modern Gulf gasoline service station constructed. The new service station will be operated independently of the Reed Brothers plant. Every effort will be made to serve the customers while the transition is taking place, company officials said.

1953 Open House

The Montgomery County Sentinel. June 11, 1953

Remember Full Service Gas Stations?

Reed Brothers Dodge 1940s

1940s Reed Brothers Dodge full service Gulf gasoline station with two attendants posing in front. Professional service was very important in the first half of the 20th century, so it was common for gas station attendants to wear the company uniform. Photo by Lewis Reed

Do you remember full service gas stations? I sure do. As a baby boomer growing up in the 60s, I remember Reed Brothers Dodge when it was a full service gasoline station. Reed Brothers was the first to sell Gulf gasoline to the motoring public in the Washington, D.C. area. In 1915, they began selling gas at their original location in Old Rockville at the triangle at Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike. Their first “gas station” consisted of a single pump. Reed Brothers Dodge offered full service gasoline for 55 years until they relocated to their new facility in 1970.

Marvin Riggs Shultz, Sr

Circa 1957, Marvin Shultz pumps gas into a truck at Reed Brothers Gulf Gas Station. Marvin began as Manager of Reed Brothers full service Gulf Gasoline and Service Station when it was located at its original location at the intersection of Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike. Photo courtesy of the Shultz family.

The uniformed attendant would greet the customer by name, fill the car up with gas, wipe the windshield, check the tire pressures and check under the hood. Back then, getting a tank of gas could take up to 10-15 minutes per person. I used to love to hear the bell ding after every gallon pumped. Gulf had orange foam balls you could place on your car’s antenna and they also gave away things like pens, key chains, calendars and road maps. But for the most part, gas stations today resemble convenience stores more than a one-stop haven for all things automotive. Some changes are for the better, but there are some amenities that are missed.

The first uniformed gas station attendants appeared at Reed Brothers Dodge around 1920. The Gulf station included a manager and four attendants. Attendants worked long hours in all weather, possessed a thorough knowledge of service requirements for various automobile makes and models, improvised quick repairs on the spot, provided directions to lost travelers, and did it all with a smile. The men dressed in uniforms and caps in the photo below were Gulf Gasoline Station attendants. Three of the original gas station attendants were Walter (Bud) Beall, Otis Beall and John Burdette.

Rockville Garage Sales & Service Staff circa 1920s.

Reed Brothers Dodge Sales & Service staff and Gulf Gasoline Attendants, circa 1920s. Photo by Lewis Reed

Gas station attendants used to be as well-dressed as police officers and firefighters, right down to the snappy hat and bow tie. The uniform shirt usually had the company logo stitched on one breast pocket and the employee’s embroidered nameplate on the other. The attendant also had a roll of fives and singles in his shirt pocket so that he could make change.

Black rubber hoses used to snake across the pavement. They were hooked up to a bell inside the building and the “ding” signaled for an attendant to dash over to the driver’s window and ask, “Fill ‘er up? Every attendant had a huge rag hanging out of his back pocket that he used to wipe the oil dipstick. Then, much like a sommelier proffering a sample of a vintage wine, he’d present the dipstick to the driver for his inspection. He would then use his squeegee to carefully clean those panoramic windshields of the era with just a few expert swipes. All this whether the customer had purchased 50 cents worth or a tank full of gas.

In earlier times, lost motorists could pull into any service station and get detailed, accurate directions. The attendant would often mark on a road map as a visual aid and then let the driver take it with him, free of charge. In fact, it was expected that gas stations in any given area had a rack full of complimentary road maps. Gulf was the first oil company to use maps to promote its pump attendants as courteous, helpful, and reliable sources of local tourist information, as seen in this 1933 ad. However, you won’t find many road maps available today thanks to navigation provided by smartphones, Garmin and other built-in-car GPS systems.

That Good Gulf Gasoline

Reed Brothers Service Station provided restrooms for the traveling public. Patrons wanted clean and safe facilities. In addition to the Gulf signage there is a small, barely visible sign below that promotes, “Clean Rest Rooms” which assured the traveler that the restrooms were well maintained. Gulf was the first oil company to promote clean restrooms as a customer benefit.

Reed Brothers Dodge 1940s

1936 — Reed Brothers Dodge canopied Gulf Gas Station. A closer look reveals the price of gasoline as 15 cents. On the right attached to a telephone pole is a sign pointing the way to Olney. In addition to the Gulf signage there is a small, barely visible sign below that promotes, “Clean Rest Rooms”. Photo by Lewis Reed

We’ve come a long way since these times. We pull up, pump our own gas, stick a plastic card in a machine and go. No human contact required. That’s progress, one supposes.

1940s Full Service Gulf Station

1940 Reed Brothers Dodge

Reed Brothers Dodge Canopied Gulf Gasoline Station circa 1940

This is a previously unpublished photo of Reed Brothers Dodge full service Gulf Gasoline Station with two gas station attendants standing in front. Professional service was very important in the first half of the twentieth century, so it was common for gas station attendants to wear the company uniform.

Reed Brothers Dodge was the first Gulf gasoline dealer in the Washington, D.C. area. In 1915, they began selling gas at their original location in Old Rockville at the triangle at Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike. Their first gas station consisted of a single pump. Later, in addition to gas, they carried a full line of Gulf lubricants, Goodyear tires, Willard batteries, complimentary road maps, free air and water, and many other well known brands of merchandise to meet their patrons needs. Reed Brothers discontinued offering this product line when they relocated to their new facility in November 1970.

1960s Full Service Gulf Station

Reed Brothers Dodge 1968

Reed Brothers Dodge Gulf Gas Station

This is a circa 1968 photo of the Reed Brothers Dodge Gulf Gasoline station. The famous Gulf “ice box” design dates back to late 1930’s and there were probably more of these built than any single one of the later Gulf designs. A Coca Cola machine is visible in front of the white Dodge Dart parked in front of the service bay. The sign in the grass to the right of the blue ’58 Plymouth (Belvedere?) reads, “We’re Making Deals on Gulf Tires”.

The office/sales area occupied the right corner, facing the adjacent road Rockville Pike.  Attached to the office are two quick service bays with roll-down doors. Each bay of the bays served a specific purpose. One bay contained a hydraulic lift to raise cars for the servicing of tires, lubrication, and underside parts.  A central in-floor drain to catch water runoff during car washes was utilized in the second bay.  The station also contained a men’s and women’s restroom. A concrete ramp on the left led up to the second floor Auto Glass and Body Repair Shop.

The below 1940 architectural plan and rendering of a Gulf service station epitomize the defining design characteristics of this service station type.

1940 architectural plan and rendering of a Gulf service station

1940 architectural plan and rendering of a
Gulf service station

Reed Brothers Dodge was the first Gulf gasoline dealer in the Washington, D.C. area. In 1915, they began selling gas at their original location in Old Rockville at the triangle at Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike. Their first gas station consisted of a single pump. Later, in addition to gas, they carried a full line of Gulf lubricants, Goodyear tires, Willard batteries, complimentary road maps, free air and water, and many other well known brands of merchandise to meet their patrons needs.

Fill’er Up: Reed Brothers Full Service Gasoline Station

Do you remember full service gas stations? I sure do. As a baby boomer growing up in the 60s, I remember Reed Brothers Dodge as a full service gasoline station. The uniformed attendant would greet the customer by name, fill the car up with gas, wipe the windshield, check the tire pressures and check under the hood. Back then, getting a tank of gas could take up to 10-15 minutes per person. I used to love to hear the bell ding after every gallon pumped. Gulf had orange foam balls you could place on your car’s antenna and they also gave away things like pens, key chains, calendars and road maps.

Reed Brothers Dodge was the first Gulf gasoline dealer in the Washington, D.C. area. In 1915, they began selling gas at their original location in Old Rockville at the triangle at Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike. Their first gas station consisted of a single pump. Later, in addition to gas, they carried a full line of Gulf lubricants, Goodyear tires, Willard batteries, complimentary road maps, free air and water, and many other well known brands of merchandise to meet their patrons needs. Reed Brothers discontinued offering this product line when they relocated to their new facility in November 1970.

Below are two previously unpublished photos of Reed Brothers full service Gulf gas station. Both photos were taken at its original location in Old Rockville at the triangle at Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike.  (click on photos for larger images)

Reed Brothers Dodge Gulf Gas Station

Reed Brothers Dodge canopied Gulf Gas Station circa 1936. A closer look reveals the price of gasoline as 15 cents. On the right attached to a telephone pole is a sign pointing the way to Olney. In addition to the Gulf signage there is a small, barely visible sign below that promotes, “Clean Rest Rooms”.

Below is a mid-1960’s photo of  the Reed Brothers Dodge Gulf Gasoline station. The famous Gulf “ice box” design dates back to late 1930’s and there were  probably more of these built than any single one of the later Gulf designs. A Coca Cola machine is visible in front of the white Dodge Dart parked in front of the service bay. The sign in the grass on the right reads, “We’re Making Deals on Gulf Tires”.

Reed Brothers Dodge Gulf Gas Station

Reed Brothers Dodge Gulf Gas Station circa mid-1960

Gulf Gas 1956

%d bloggers like this: