1940: When a trip to the service station was worth dressing up for


Gas was only 18 cents a gallon in 1940 (equivalent today of about $2.40 a gallon) and competition was so fierce among oil companies that they not only gave you free road maps, they boasted about how much extra service they provided, checking the oil and tires and cleaning the windshield.
Union Oil promised “Minute Man” service with no sales pressure, leaving this couple free to converse while their roadster is tended to.
Note that the “76” logo is square, rather than the familiar round version we know today.
The longtime Union Oil refinery in West County, originally established in 1897 in what was then a company town known as Oleum, is now the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo.



Chris Treadway