The Saturday Evening Post History Minute: The Vanishing Gas Station

Hundreds of thousands of gas stations have closed since the 1970s. Why have so many failed when the country is still so dependent on gasoline?

An abandoned gas station

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  1. I was born in 1925 and have driven various cars since I was twelve and am now still driving at 96. I have visited many gas or service stations across this great country of ours over the years and was greatly satisfied. The world and the times have changed remarkedly and that change has affected every life forever. In my old age, I now do a lot of reminiscing, pondering, reflecting, dreaming of the days past that I have experienced and I would not have changed a thing…gas stations included.

  2. Interesting video, Jeff. So it’s all come down to junk food or “too much good stuff” (ARCO’s AM/PM mini-mart slogan) that’s keeping the filling stations going. Sort of like the concession stands keeping movie theaters going for so many years now. Hopefully they’ll be going away as Hollywood crashes and burns which has been just SO long overdue.

    Gas stations should still be around for quite awhile. I liked finding out about their history, and in 1946 the Post thought returning GI’s might consider running their own gas stations! I never knew the self-service trend went back to the 60’s. I thought that was a 1974 development with the first OPEC gas crisis. That one wasn’t so bad, but the 2nd one in mid-’79 one was terrible. Either way, the price of gas has been a domestic terrorist of sorts for 47 years now, and counting.


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