Looks like they sold butane. What were common uses back then? How was it handled?
a lot of Caterpillar dozers and stationary irrigation pump engines were converted to run on butane in the 30's-40's. They still turn up now and then. It was far more popular on the west coast than anywhere else so if you stumble across a "wet gas" equipped engine today, it is a pretty good bet that it came from that region. In the thirties, a gallon of gas might be 15-18 cents, but the equivalent amount of butane or propane was 4-5 cents.
I didn't think of the few propane powered engines I've seen. Butane and propane are about the same?
According to HowStuffWorks, propane and butane are the only two liquefied petroleum gases that have the ability to be stored in liquid form with moderate pressurization. This explains the similarities between their carbon-hydrogen structures. The slight difference between them gives each of the gases unique characteristics. For instance, propane gas has a boiling point of minus 44 F, which means that it vaporizes even at low temperatures. Because of this, propane burns clean and requires only a simple nozzle for vaporization. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, propane is most commonly used for residential and commercial heating, cooking fuel and petrochemicals.
Butane, however, has a much higher boiling point of 31 F, which indicates that it does not vaporize nearly as quickly as propane. Due to its higher boiling point, it has fewer uses. Butane is used for petrochemical feedstock and blending with propane and gasoline. It is most commonly used as lighter fuel and in the manufacturing of synthetic rubber for tires.
Is the auto a Dodge? Dodge autos still used artillery wheels in the early 30s.
You explained it well.
Ah yes, that inability of butane to gasify in colder temps explains why it was mostly used in the warmer climes on the west coast.
Mix butane and propane together and you get LPG.
the car looks like a 30-31 Oldsmobile two-door standard sedan, or a 30-31 Buick "50" sedan.
I was going to say 1930 Pontiac. It could be any of those I guess GM Fisher body.
Back in my Army days I drove a bus in and out of a long secret tunnel for the brass, It ran on Propane. The idea was that the exhaust gases was not as bad for you as gas run engines were. I guess they were right, Im still here. The bus seemed to have plenty of power.
In the mid 1960's I spent 2 summers driving a forklift in a cannery. They all used propane fuel. Usually, at least once during my shift the tanker would come by and fill it up. I'll never forget the garlic smell of the odorized gas when a little escaped.
Maybe that's what's wrong.......
I notice they sold root beer. Does anyone remember how good it tasted before the gov. made them stop using real sassafras? Lenney10lizzie
Oops, I don't know how I got my password in there. Lenney
That's okay Lenney, I wont tell anyone.
ps: my bad, I apologize it's snowing and has been snowing since last night
I have a "Norwalk" oil can. Judging by the artwork on the can, it looks like it may be from the late 40's.
I'm not positive here but, I believe Norwalk gas and oil became Powerene. The Powerene Oil refinery was located on Florence Av. in Santa Fe Springs, CA. Powerene operated a chain of self-serve filling stations throughout Southern California. It was your typical cut-rate gas station and, since my old man usually didn't have two nickels to rub together, he bought a lot of Powerene gas.
That refinery is currently being demolished.
O.K. if this picture was early 30's and gas was $.15 and in the late 60's gas was still only around the $.25 range there must not have been much inflation and the price creep may have been due more to demand than anything else,I'm thinking it may have been a small mis-calculation to quit making our coins from silver
Nice that they sold 100% natural octane gasoline. I just hate artificial octane!
It's like the folks today who advertise organic eggs. What the hell is an inorganic egg?
Cool pic. Tim
Here is more useless trivia. Butane is used in lighters and because of its inability to vaporize at cold temps, lighters sometimes have to be warmed up to be useful in cold Montana hunting camps. LPG refers to both butane and propane, and
is an acronym for liquified petroleum gas, both of which are a byproduct of refining in the distillation process. Natural gas is just that, natural, and comes from the ground in basically usable form, i.e., without refining. In 1978, the administration declared we were out of natural gas, and required electric generators and industrial customers to be switched to oil and coal. Today we have a glut of natural gas and are going the other way. With all its advantages, the problem with natural gas is that it will not liquefy at reasonable temperatures. When lpg liquefies it shrinks by about 600 times, therefore allowing lots of btus in a tank. As a vapor, natural gas must be compressed, say to 4000 psig, to get a volume usable as a motor fuel. In my career, we converted many vehicles to natural gas and used tanks pressured to around 3500 psig. It burns very cleanly, has high octane, and is often less expensive than gasoline. It is mostly used in high smog areas for buses and other vehicles. More than you wanted to know!
Viet Nam is when real inflation took off. When I was a freshman in high school a brand new Ford pickup (1964, less rear bumper)was advertised for $1499.00 delivered! By '72 vehicles had about doubled in price. I pumped gas for 18.9 cents in '68 during a price war. I bought it for 12.9 during a price war in '68. Gas did not fluctuate in price at all because of OPEC, no speculation was done.
So, gas was 25 cents a gallon, and the kid pumping it got about 75 cents an hour. Three gallons of gas for an hours work. Today, the kid makes 10 bucks an hour and can buy 4 gallons of gas for the same work. I am convinced that the inflation of the 1970's was part caused by the women movement. More women working, households had more disposable income. Families spent more on housing, driving up prices. The only thing that stays the same is the REAL value of fine things like my Model T. Henry would be shocked to learn that Model T's were trading for 10,000 dollars. But then again, adjusted for inflation, still 280 bucks in "1925" dollars
Erik when I was pumping gas @ 25 cents a gallon minimum wage was $1.65 that makes about 6.4 gallons for an hours work. YMMV
Coke was a nickel for decades. In the late forties the price finally went up to 7¢. The vending machine at Nearing's Bay View Market was a nickel machine. A small square can was attached to the front of the machine. You used the nickel to get the Coke, then dropped 2¢ in the can to make the 7¢ price. Apparently there were not enough honest Coke drinkers. It wasn't long before the machine was converted to take dimes.
Inflation continued, but by the mid-sixties you could still get a basic cheap hamburger at Ken's in Long Beach for 15¢, and a real burger with the works cost a quarter at the local mom & pop stand in Lomita. In 1968 I bought a new VW Beetle, the only new car I've ever bought. The price was $2100. At that time a new Jeep wagon was about $3500, and I believe the price of a Cadillac was about $3800. In 1970 the price of regular gas was still under 30¢ at most local stations.
With the Arab oil embargo of 1973 inflation shifted into high gear and sticker shock became a continuing experience. I will not buy a Snickers or a Baby Ruth because I refuse to pay a dollar for something I used to get for a nickel.
My "coming of driving age" was 1972 so I can't really recall gas prices at anything less than 28 cents a gallon (diesel at 22 cents) and the Arab oil embargo was less than 2 years away. My only point is that mention of prices back then should always include details of what you were making at the time.
Remember that some inflation is actually good as it allows for the prices of everyday goods and services to adjust relative to each other. Prices should not move in lockstep.