Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gas Lines


No look at gas stations would be complete without briefly considering that National Disaster known as the Jimmy Carter administration. I realize I might offend some visitors with that statement, as perhaps there might be 2 or 3 people in the world who look back fondly on the Carter years in Washington. The main thing I remember was the lines at the gas stations. During the Carter years, issues arose with both the Availability and Affordability of gasoline. In some cases you could not afford to drive because of high gas prices, and then sometimes gas was not available at any price. I can remember people would wait in long lines for gas, only to find the station ran out of gas as they got to the pump.

I can remember that the gas pumps had only two digits for price per gallon, $.XX per gallon. In designing the gas pumps, they had never dreamed that gas could actually reach $1 per gallon. When the prices shot up, gas stations scrambled to try and figure out how to deal with the fact that the pumps could not properly price the gasoline.


29 comments:

  1. Morning PJM.
    Well as luck would have it, I lived up here in North Dakota and Montana where we never had those gas lines.
    One way the stations solved the "OVER $1" price was to sell the gas by the 1/2 gallon. So if the price of a gallon was $1.20, they would sell you 1/2 gallon for .60.

    I think back VERY fondly on the days when I was paying .29 a gallon for gas. I was a farm machinery salesman back then and did a lot of traveling. $5.00 to $6.00 would fill the car for a couple of days to a week of driving.
    Now when you stick the nozzle into the tank, turn it on and look up it is already past $5.00. It takes over $75.00 to fill up my pick-up now.

    A interesting fact. In Montana there is a town of Wolf Point, that has a refinery there and they always have the highest gas prices in the State, and not by a little.

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  2. that was the time that the arabs realized that what they have below their feet could influence the worlds economy and later government and politics.

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  3. Poor Carter. He is a good man but was a terrible president. Remember when he obtained goofy looking uniforms for all the guards (secret service too? Can't remember) around the White House? Didn't last long.

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  4. My girlfriend exclaims loudly whenever we pass a petrol station here in England. I never understood people's obsession with petrol prices, my conception of it is on a very pragmatic level - the price of gas is positively correlated with the volume of her voice.

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  5. Nowadays in Seoul's gas price is almost over 6.5dollors/gallon....can you believe it and can you drive it in...??

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  6. i remember those days. i was pretty young, but i think those years instilled the sort of "depression era mentality" in me that my grandparents had.

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  7. Ahh... fond memories of running out of gas while waiting in line to get more. It was a vicious circle. I remember those days. I was a kid back then, and couldn't understand WHY we had to wait hours for gas while my father cursed the whole time.

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  8. I also remember the inflation of that era, and the high interest rates on home purchases. Also I remember that we were told this was caused because we be out of oil in ten years......so much for politics.

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  9. It's pretty cool just seeming the old cars.

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  10. The good old days , bell bottoms , crappy cars , and crappy music , im glad i was 10 years at the time my only concern was my hotwheels.

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  11. the 70's the era we'd all like to forget

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  12. I remember these as a child...hopefully your reminder will keep these days from returning...love your site...thanks...RJR

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  13. The 70's!!! I remember my old lead gray 1964 Bonneville w/389 and later my bright orange 1970 Firebird w/400 4-barrel engine. ZZ Top, Skynyrd, Allman Bros., Led Zeppelin were going strong as was CCR. Boot cut Wranglers were still easy to find in NY (I think Ty Murray was their poster boy back then). Way better than the 80's (disco), girlie shirts for guys and boxy anemic cars that all looked alike. To me the only good things the 80's brought was Ronald Reagan, my wife and I getting married, and the birth of our daughter.

    John

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  14. yeah i remember my 1974 volkswagon dasher great car ......not

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  15. I remember those gas lines in the 70's! My Dad would always play the gas game~Which station had the lowest prices this week, and then we would get in line. The only good thing at that point in time was the price per gallon in Connecticut and Massachusetts was $.55 per gallon! $5.00 filled my car for the week! Yeah!

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  16. I was really young at the time, but I remember these... we had gas rationing at our town that followed the last digit on your license plate - odds on one day, evens on the other. That was also when one dollar would get you some gas :)

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  17. Good ol' president "call me Jimmy" Carter. I remember when he was attached by a killer rabbit while fishing in a rowboat and had to keep it away from the boat with a paddle. Seriously.

    But his brother had a good idea with Billy Beer!

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  18. Richard Nixon was the one with peculiar notions about uniforms...

    Secret Service

    "Special Agents of the Secret Service wear attire that is appropriate for the surroundings. In many circumstances the attire is a conservative business suit, but attire can range from a tuxedo to blue jeans. Photographs often show them wearing sunglasses and a communication earpiece. The attire for UD Officers includes standard police uniforms, or utility uniforms and ballistic/identification vests for members of the countersniper team, Emergency Response Team (ERT), and canine officers. President Richard Nixon, after traveling through Europe, had his Secret Service agents wear elaborate uniforms to state functions. However, they were discontinued after being deemed too imperial. "

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  19. Oh my gosh! I was coming of age and so remember those gas lines. I hated going with mom to fill the tank and wiat in line for ever never knowing whether they would have any when we actually got to the pump or not. It usually was at least an hour wait it seemed much longer though and on some rare occasions it would be more like half hour. I never ever wnated to go get gas with mom. To think back then that we wouldbe paying the prices we do now for gas and some of the lines I have waited in since. Give me back the good ol'days.

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  20. Ha. My older brother and I would cash in aluminum cans to pay for gas. Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane without having to pay for the ride.

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  21. PS...we were putting gas in (not filling) the tank of a 1962, push button transmission, Plymouth Valiant with an AM radio!
    Thank you very much.

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  22. the guy at the pump in the 2nd picture looks like johnny gage from emergency!

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  23. Wow, does THIS photo bring back memories!!!!

    I was in college at the time and driving a 1972 Chevy Vega - does anyone remember those - which I traded in for a 1976 Toyota SR-5, which had the first 5-speed manual transmission around here. And I got my first "locking" gas cap because of the shortage!!

    I must say that I find it rather depressing to see that a photo during my lifetime qualifies as an "Old Picture of the Day!!"

    And yes, Carter was one of the worst presidents EVER, even though he appeared "qualified" on paper.

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  24. My daughter and I see some of these cars at "classic" car shows these days.

    Makes me feel old.

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  25. Though very young, I, too, remember when gas was 39 cents a gallon; the memory is particularly connected with the to me fascinating glimpse of the giant rotating orange ball, a company logo. Ahh, if only we had learned our lesson THEN, we' probably be running almost 100%, if not 100%, on renewable energy, by now, and the world today would be so very different....

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  26. I so remember the price of gas and those unbelievable gas lines of the 1970's. I learned to drive in the late 1960's and paid $.25 per gallon and less during a price war. In the 1970's that's when service went bye-bye. It's never been the same, now you pay extra to get minimal service if you can find it.

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  27. My dad and brother had a DX station/store at the edge of Tulsa in the 1970s.

    Their pumps were not made to display more than .49 per gallon, so they had to go to the 1/2 gallon price even pre-Carter (one of the big regrets of my life was that I actually voted for C. in '76. Please don't flail me for that since I have Really learned my lesson).

    Anyway, that was about 1973. Can you believe that those were brand new pumps in 1968 and that oil prices were not expected to rise like that only 5 years previously?

    Also, their station was full service until 1974 when they made 1 of the pumps self-service.

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