They used to be called "SERVICE stations". Not only would the attendant pump your gas, but clean your windshield and check your oil as well. They'd show you the dipstick and recommend an oil change when the oil was dirty, checking the sticker inside your door frame for the date and mileage of your last one. They'd check the air in your tires, the water in your battery (back when that was a service item), and usually your brake, transmission (automatic) and washer fluids too. All of this was free, and regular gas was still under 30˘ per gallon.
I had a rather elderly friend a few years ago who never mastered the art of pumping her own gas, but had to frequent a retailer who offered "full service". They had a special gas island for that, where the gas price was jacked up 50˘/gallon - about eight or nine bucks for the average fill up. At least they did check the fluids and wash the windshield too. It must have been a gold mine for the station owner - all the little old ladies in that part of town traded there. On Monday mornings they looked like a Lexus/Mercedes/Cadillac dealership, with a fleet of luxury cars lined up for service.
“Draw your chair up close to the edge of the precipice and I’ll tell you a story."
_____________________- F. Scott Fitzgerald
TLN #42 -The Meaning of Life
In those times a fill-up one may have received some promotional gift. Mom-dad brought back plates, glasses, toys and other merchandise that were offered.
I liked the one frame with the corn alcohol/ethanol infused gas. Can you imagine the leaded gas of the time? Must have done wonders for the environment as well as the health concerns from the burned toxins. Pretty interesting and crazy times when we look back.