Friday, December 6, 2013

Pumps, Tires and Automobiles Kept Our Ancestors' Lives Rolling

I'm fascinated by how many of my ancestors were connected with gasoline service stations or other auto service businesses. The industry provided them good livings or got them started in life.

The above photo of N.B. "Bonie" Pierce's new gas station and convenience store in Mobile, Ala., was probably taken shortly after it opened in 1940. Bonie called his business The Reservoir Inn because it was located across the street from the historic Bienville Reservoir, actually not more than a raised pond used for water storage.

The store on the north side of Moffett Road near Forest Hill Drive sold Sinclair gasoline. The little sign on the right pump warns that Sinclair HC contains lead. The pump on the left must have pumped unleaded gas.

On the front of the Inn are signs for Opaline motor oil, a Sinclair product. Barely visible on the right side of the photo is a sign for Quaker State Motor Oil.

With the U.S. entry into World War II on Dec. 7, 1941, service stations such as this one would feel the effects of a shortage of rubber and gasoline. The federal government ordered nationwide gas rationing to begin on Dec. 1, 1942.

The Reservoir Inn survived the war and for many years afterward.

Do you have ancestors who were connected with the auto service industry?

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