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"The increase in automobile ownership after Henry Ford started to sell automobiles that the middle class could afford resulted in an increased demand for filling stations. The world's first purpose built gas station was constructed in St. Louis, Missouri in 1905 at 420 S. Theresa Avenue. The second gas station was constructed in 1907 by Standard Oil of California (now Chevron) in Seattle, Washington at what is now Pier 32. Reighard's Gas Station in Altoona, Pennsylvania claims that it dates from 1909 and is the oldest existing gas station in the United States.[13] Early on, they were known to motorists as "filling stations". The first "drive-in" filling station, Gulf Refining Company, opened to the motoring public in Pittsburgh on December 1, 1913 at Baum Blvd & St Clair's Street (Walter's Automotive Shop was located here on the 100th anniversary).[14] Prior to this, automobile drivers pulled into almost any general or hardware store, or even blacksmith shops in order to fill up their tanks. On its first day, the station sold 30 gallons of gasoline at 27 cents per gallon. This was also the first architect-designed station and the first to distribute free road maps.[15] The first alternative fuel station was opened in San Diego, California by Pearson Fuels in 2003.[16]"

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filling_station#Service_stations

This collection highlights the service stations in Huntsville through the mid-20th century, most of which have vanished and become replaced with the all-purpose convenience stores that include self-service gas pumps.

 
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