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Gas Stations: An illustrated history
Gas Stations: An illustrated history

Gas Stations: An illustrated history

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Gas Stations: An illustrated history


‘The gas station’s attractive visual qualities, multiplied by its omnipresence in the roadside landscape of the mid-20th century have made it – certainly in America – a true cultural icon.’– Thomas Vanhaute

This book takes the reader on a photographic journey through time, telling the story of the roadside beacons of the automobile age: the gas stations. Starting from the very early years of motoring at the dawn of the 20th century, when cars would fill up at a primitive manual gas pump, to the iconic and sometimes bizarre structures of the heyday of the gas station concept in the 1930s through the 1950s. A concluding section looks at the afterlife of the disused gas station and investigates its adaptive reuse and position as built heritage within the historic urban landscape. Carefully selected and unique historical photographs from archives across the world give insight into the architectural and spatial elements of gasoline distribution, but equally looks into the social aspect of the gas station, as a roadside oasis where people of all walks of life would meet, during a brief stop-over.

Thomas Vanhaute is a Belgian photographer and heritage consultant. He graduated magna cum laude at the University of Antwerp as a Master in Heritage Studies with a dissertation on gas stations, Station to Station.


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