The General Store at Nyala, Railroad Valley, Nye County, Nevada, around 1920. The automobile is a 1914 or 1915 model Ford owned by O.K. Reed. Emery Garrett owned the store. Gasoline then sold for $1.00 per gallon, which was not considered high-priced even though gas sold for 30 cents a gallon in nearby Tonopah.
The rear fenders say 1915.
The high price of gas in remote places has a long tradition. I recall that when the prices was 30¢ in the Los Angeles area it was over 50¢ in Lone Pine, and when you got up in the mountains it was even more.
Today we get into our modern car, put on a movie in the back seat for the kids, put on music for ourselves, set the AC where we like it an zoom along at 70+ MPH. As we travel we expect to find gas, food, lodging, and whatever else we may crave at the next exit.
This photo lends stark contrast to our current travel expectations. Thanks for a very insightful photo Jay.
you realize that it took a tanker to deliver the gas to that remote location and if you had enough in your gas tank to make it into a larger town, you would pass it by. So, they had to make a profit or would go out of business and sold the gas for what the market would bear. If you needed gas, it would be a long hot walk to the next gas station, so you would pay the price.
It is even that way today, not on such a scale, but here in Alpine we are about 15 miles up the road from the larger city of El Cajon. We are also the first gas station on the interstate for about 50 miles. So our prices are about 25 cents a gallon more than in El cajon. I buy gas here if I need it, but if I am going into El Cajon, I buy my gas there. I suppose if everyone in this town were to buy gas here, the price would drop, but since the price is higher, we don't. Mostly the out of towners get gas here because it is the first gas station they see when coming from the east.
Heck, they rip us off for an even narrow span between stations here. Partly 'cause of only a couple of distributors in this area. Usually can vary up to 15 cents a gallon within a two mile span.
I see a curved front fender making the car '17 or later. I like the desolate look.
Railroad Valley is a familiar name to me.
In the 1960's I was working for NASA, which was flight testing the X-15 rocket airplane at the time. The X-15 was air launched from a B-52 bomber and the rocket engine was started immediately after launch. Rocket engines being notoriously unreliable, we always launched within gliding distance of one of the large natural dry lakebeds as an emergency landing site. Railroad Valley was one such site.
For each flight, we transported an emergency crew to the "launch lake", consisting of mechanics, paramedics, and firefighting crew (complete with fire truck). A C-130 transport plane dropped off the emergency crew prior to launch and a rescue helicopter orbited the area. In retrospect, we probably doubled the population of Railroad Valley for a few hours.
Never occurred to me that the place was inhabited. All I knew was that it would made decent landing spot for an airplane that made deadstick landings at 250 mph.
Back in the 70s we ran a gas station in Dunsmuir, CA, far northern California. We had to pay a surcharge for shipping the gas that far, BUT the stations in Southern Oregon, a farther distance did not pay as much of a surcharge, and could, therefor, sell it for less than we could!