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Old 01-04-12, 07:42 AM   #1
Looigi
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Nostalgia: Remember when gas stations handed out free maps?

On at least a few occasions I stopped to get one, unfold it a bit, and put it under my jersey or jacket to block the wind. I still have a dozen or so of these I've saved over the years.
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Old 01-04-12, 07:44 AM   #2
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And they cleaned the windshield, checked the oil level and tire inflation and gave you savings stamps for using them. And gas costs about .15 a gallon during a "Price War"

Bill
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Old 01-04-12, 07:57 AM   #3
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And they spoke english.
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Old 01-04-12, 07:59 AM   #4
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I remember maps that were impossible to fold back up.
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Old 01-04-12, 08:11 AM   #5
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Gallagher did a little skit during a stand-up show, circa 1986, about the old days and gas stations.

"You could roll up in the gas station, DING-DING, here comes the guy, RUNNING! 'Lemme fill ya up, wash your windshield, air up your tires, vacuum your car, lemme do all the sh** I can for ya for THIRTY-TWO NINE!' NOW, you can't get the guy in the little house to open the DOOR! You gotta wave: 'HEY! TURN ON THE PUMP! EL PUMPO!' And they don't even sell OIL in the little house: 'Whaddayou, NUTS? OIL at a GAS station? GO to a grocery store where you belong!' "

I remember gas wars, seeing 23.9, and I remember my mother complaining about paying 37.9 for ETHYL! I also remember buying ONE tank of ethyl, and deciding that 57.9 was too much, I'd buy regular for 46.9.....

There were spinner racks FULL of maps; loved just browsing them when I went there with my dad.

I also remember comfortably sharing the road with cars back then, too, on my Schwinn 10-speed......
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Old 01-04-12, 08:20 AM   #6
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I'm almost 60 and I remember all the gas station stuff but the free maps.

There are free maps available from the tourist information booths in many states. The ones in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York are pretty good, widely available and free.
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Old 01-04-12, 08:34 AM   #7
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When I was a kid, we used to have a company called SuperTest Gas and they had a super station on one of our major roads. They provided the same major services that all stations did at that time, like check the oil, check the air in your tires, clean the windshield and pump the gas for you.

Unlike other gas companies that gave the S&H Green Stamps with your gas, they gave out SuperStamps which got you free rides at their fairly large amusement park next to their station. You would exchange your SuperStamps for ride tickets so the more stamps you had, the more rides you went on. My dad used to alternate between there and a regular station that gave the Green Stamps. I can't believe how much stuff my mother redeemed her stamps for. The location where the station and amusement park used to be is now part of the parking area for Raymond James Stadium. And the way the Bucs have been playing, I'd rather have the amusement park.
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Old 01-04-12, 09:07 AM   #8
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And they cleaned the windshield, checked the oil level and tire inflation and gave you savings stamps for using them. And gas costs about .15 a gallon during a "Price War"
And they actually pumped the gas. Outside of New Jersey, that's a rare event these days.
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Old 01-04-12, 09:14 AM   #9
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And they actually pumped the gas. Outside of New Jersey, that's a rare event these days.
Oregon won't let you pump your own gas and we have a number of stations in Canada that also offer this voluntarily.

Used to work as a gas jockey from time to time when a friend owned a full service station... back when gas was 29.9.
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Old 01-04-12, 09:15 AM   #10
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Outside of New Jersey, that's a rare event these days.
I worked for a company that had it's regional offices in New Jersey, to which I had to make several trips to work on their network. The first time I went there, after leaving the airport, I stopped for gas on the way to the office, got out the car and started filling up. This guy comes running out of the station and starts yelling at me to put the handle back in the pump. I'm thinking, "WTF is this guys problem?" He came and pumped the gas for me, I paid him and went on to the office. I told my story, and it wasn't until then that I was told that it's against the law to pump your own gas in New Jersey. We should have that here in Florida. Maybe it would help with the unemployment problem we have here.
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Old 01-04-12, 09:57 AM   #11
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Free glasses with fill up... or other dishes. Fill up for less than $10.00. I remember gas wars in Texas where stations were fighting over 19 cent a gallon prices.

Then '74 came... and the gas shortages. I thought for sure the nation was going to a carless day one day a week... we already had odd/even gas days.

I used to love riding my bike past the long lines at the gas stations. I just knew eventually everyone was going to ride bikes...
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Old 01-04-12, 10:25 AM   #12
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I remember getting a little inflatable dinosaur from the Sinclair station. And at the local Phillips 66 station my grandfather got me an LP record with accompanying photo booklet of Stan Musial giving batting tips for Little Leaguers.
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Old 01-04-12, 11:34 AM   #13
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I can remember the uproar when the local gas station hired a girl to ne a gas jockey, and the big toodo when her and and the next girl jockey decided to wear halter tops one hot day.
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Old 01-04-12, 11:48 AM   #14
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My mother stocked entire kitchen cabinets with drinking glasses and dishes that gas stations gave away with a minimum 8 gallon purchase. I remember the free maps--and, you could take a post card near the map rack, fill it out with your departure place and destination, if you were going on a trip, mail it in, and the oil company would send you a map with your route highlighted. I think that AAA may still do this, but I'm not sure. And you still have to join AAA to get it--the oil companies used to do it for whatever it cost to mail a post card.
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Old 01-04-12, 11:59 AM   #15
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It used to very common for the workers on the Pa Turnpike to slit your fan belt with a razor while they checked your oil... I never let them check the oil.
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Old 01-04-12, 12:26 PM   #16
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I remember my dad pulling in, asking for $2 worth and sending me running in to get a map. Those free maps were provided by the major oil companies and branded Conoco, Esso, Mobile, Texaco, etc... I think it was around the mid 70s that they started charging for them, and soon after the oil franchises quit publishing them and the ones sold were from Rand McNally or other publishers. I still have an Esso map from the mid 60s that shows most of the interstate network in NJ as being proposed. Only short disconnected segments of 80, 95, 287, etc, are shown as completed.

Now everybody uses gps or their smart phones.

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Old 01-04-12, 03:07 PM   #17
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I remember when it made sense to call them "service stations."
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Old 01-04-12, 03:15 PM   #18
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What's a map?
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Old 01-04-12, 03:33 PM   #19
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I also remember free windshield scrapers - maps don't do any good if you can't see through the frost.

Speaking of prices, I remember once my dad pulling up to a pump in an unknown town, and when the guy came out my dad looked at the digits and said
"HOW!?!!?! much is gas here?"
"38.9 cents per gallon sir."
"I am NOT paying 38.9 cents per gallon of gas"

and we drove across the street, where it was 33 cents or something.
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Old 01-04-12, 04:36 PM   #20
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Then '74 came... and the gas shortages. I thought for sure the nation was going to a carless day one day a week... we already had odd/even gas days.
My family was living over in West Germany in '74 (Dad was stationed there) and the German gov. banned driving of private cars on Sundays to conserve gas. It was pretty cool, it was quiet, the roads were all empty, and we had to walk to church. They had a great public transportation system tho, so people could still get around without too much trouble.
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Old 01-04-12, 04:46 PM   #21
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Remember when gas stations had pay phones? Or even a phone booth?
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Old 01-04-12, 05:27 PM   #22
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Then '74 came... and the gas shortages. I thought for sure the nation was going to a carless day one day a week... we already had odd/even gas days.

I used to love riding my bike past the long lines at the gas stations. I just knew eventually everyone was going to ride bikes...
Back then, as a student and cyclist, I was usually the only one in class with a perfect attendance during that time because many students missed a class if they couldn't get gas.

So how long is this "eventually" going to take? Seems like I've been waiting for a while already.
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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

Last edited by Artkansas; 01-04-12 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 01-04-12, 05:30 PM   #23
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What's a map?

It's a crude precursor to GPS, written in an obscure, arcane dialect that few could understand and that no translation was possible. Rumor had it, that they were created by a million monkeys locked in a room with a box of crayons.
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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

Last edited by Artkansas; 01-04-12 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 01-04-12, 05:34 PM   #24
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It used to very common for the workers on the Pa Turnpike to slit your fan belt with a razor while they checked your oil... I never let them check the oil.
In Florida, the license plate showed what county it was issued in. If you were not in the county it was issued in, you were on your own for any number of scams.
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Old 01-04-12, 05:35 PM   #25
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In 1974 I took a 12 gallon gas tank from an Opel and put it in the trunk of my Volvo. I think the volvo already had about 15. I have no idea what the gas mileage was, but it was a 4 cylinder. As the Volvo tank started to get low on a ski trip, I would go into the trunk, turn the valve, and then as I drove the volvo tank would fill back up again.
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