This is a collection showcasing old and deserted gas stations across the United States.
Abandoned gasoline stations in the United States are relics of a rapidly evolving oil industry. These stations, often originating from major oil companies, showcase the country’s dynamic history of petroleum distribution. These abandoned stations, once bustling hubs, now stand as symbols of the changing landscapes of the oil and automotive industries, often bearing the aesthetic and architectural styles of the eras in which they were built.
Ashland gasoline stations originated from Ashland Oil & Refining Company, a modest enterprise that started in Catlettsburg, Kentucky. Established by Paul Blazer in 1924, the company diversified its operations over time, expanding into road paving and construction, coal, oil exploration, and the production and distribution of motor oils through Valvoline and chemical manufacture and distribution. In the late 1990s, Ashland entered into a joint venture with Marathon Oil, which led to its eventual exit from the oil refining and marketing business in 2005.
Gulf Oil was an independent oil company from 1901 until 1984 when it merged with Standard Oil of California. Following the merger, Gulf service stations in the United States were rebranded as Chevron. However, the Gulf brand experienced a revival after a partnership formed in 1993 acquired the naming rights to Gulf Oil from Chevron in 1986. This complex partnership led to the reintroduction of the Gulf brand in the market.
Historically associated with the Quaker State brand, known primarily for its motor oil and automotive products, Quaker State gasoline stations have played a role in America’s automotive culture. Quaker State, founded in 1913 in Oil City, Pennsylvania, quickly established itself as a reputable brand in the automotive lubricant industry. While the brand is more commonly associated with its high-quality motor oils and lubricants, the presence of Quaker State-branded gasoline stations, particularly in the mid-20th century, symbolized the company’s broader engagement with the automotive sector.
Over the years, as the oil industry consolidated and the retail landscape evolved, the presence of Quaker State-branded gasoline stations diminished. The company’s focus shifted more towards its core product lines of motor oils and lubricants. Today, Quaker State is a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company, continuing its legacy in the automotive lubricant industry, though its branded gasoline stations are less common, reflecting broader trends in the petroleum retail sector.
In 1907, Shell was formed through the merger of the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company from the Netherlands and the Shell Transport and Trading Company from the United Kingdom. This union positioned Shell as a significant competitor to the American Standard Oil Company. By 1920, Shell had risen to become the world’s largest oil producer. It was also part of the “Seven Sisters,” a collective of major companies dominating the global petroleum industry from the mid-1940s until the mid-1970s. Today, Shell operates a vast network of over 40,000 gasoline stations and oil refineries and engages in a wide range of business activities across various product and market sectors.