Was the World’s First Gas Station in Pittsburgh? It’s Complicated.

Every December 1, posts celebrate the anniversary of Gulf opening the first drive-in gas station in 1913. That small, somewhat circular building on Baum Boulevard in East Liberty was a game-changer in automotive history, but was it the world’s first?

No. The Gulf Oil Historical Society, which assures us of the 1913 station’s significance, likewise admits, “This was NOT the first filling station. It was NOT Gulf’s first station, it is not the oldest station, or the first place where you could drive off the road into a lot and buy gas.”1

So why do we celebrate it every December?

In 2000, the society sponsored a state historical marker at the spot titled the “First Drive-In Filling Station,”2 but even that skinny “urban street style” marker, with limited wording, does little to clarify the confusion.

And while this famous Gulf station lasted only about a decade, an even older gas station survives in Pittsburgh, yet it receives no attention or yearly celebrations.

As usual, the real story is more interesting than the mythologized tale.

Early Stations

  • c. 1900 Global — Motorists purchase gasoline at blacksmith shops, hardware stores, even grocery stores, especially if they already carried kerosene for home lighting. Fuel would be scooped or poured from a barrel into a can to then fill the car.3
  • 1905 St. Louis, Mo. — Automobile Gasoline Co. opens the first purpose-built gas station, a tiny building adjacent to an oil distribution center, using a converted hot water tank and gravity-fed hose.4
  • 1907 Seattle, Wa. — Standard Oil of California opens a station at its bulk plant.5
  • 1908 Pittsburgh, Pa. — Harvey Dauler opens a station for his Petroleum Products Company on Bigelow (then called Grant) Boulevard near today’s Bloomfield Bridge.
  • 1909 St. Louis, Mo. — American Gasoline builds the first “drive-in”—a tin shed.6
  • 1909 Altoona, Pa. — east of Pittsburgh, Reighard’s Gas Station opens in Altoona. It remains the world’s oldest continually operating gas station.7
  • 1910 Flint, Mich. — Central Oil and Gasoline Station opens with a canopy above a drive-in lane, gas pump, and free air.
  • 1910 Columbus, Ohio — Standard Oil of Ohio builds a drive-through station.
  • 1912 Pittsburgh, Pa. — Dauler replaces his station on Grant with a huge warehouse and station. He had also opened another station a block west near Polish Hill.
  • 1913 Pittsburgh, Pa. — In June, Murwin Gasoline Company opens “the latest in gasoline filling stations” on Grant, with space to pull off the street.8
  • 1913 Pittsburgh, Pa. — By November, Gasoline Supply Co. has four stations in the metro area.9
  • 1913 Pittsburgh, Pa. — December 1, Gulf opens its first station on Baum Boulevard.


Automobile Row

Gulf Oil Corporation traces its roots to 1901 but was formally founded in 1907 through a merger of oil businesses.10 Pittsburgh’s Mellon family was Gulf’s first and foremost investor, intertwining its oil holdings and Mellon Bank for decades.11

The company grew alongside car sales—registrations rose from 8,000 in 1900 to 1.2 million in 1913.12 That year became a turning point in auto-related architecture, moving beyond manufacturing plants to repair stations, parking garages, salesrooms, and retail facilities to dispense gas and charge batteries.13

Gulf watched the rise of stations, even right in its hometown, and saw the potential to control another step in the process from well to consumer, especially as independent oil producers were making gains in reaching the new customers. Gulf was an early proponent of branding its gas as a sales tactic, and a branded station was the next natural step.

Among the Mellon family holdings were numerous properties along Baum Boulevard in the city’s East End. The carriage trade had settled in this strategically central location between the downtown business district and Millionaire’s Row residences in today’s Point Breeze neighborhood to the east. Baum was not a through street yet, chopped up by a couple of ravines and the East Liberty Presbyterian Church blocking the road at Penn Avenue. So while parallel Centre Avenue clogged with streetcars, Baum had none, making it easier for its businesses to serve horse-drawn vehicles.14 The straight, uncrowded road was known as a racer’s paradise in summer, while snow was left uncleared throughout the winter for sleighs.15

By 1910, those businesses had begun serving horseless carriages. By 1913, Baum, now bridged west to Craig Street and Grant Boulevard, became known as Pittsburgh’s Automobile Row, a term for where an area’s car businesses congregated.16 Block after block filled with garages, tire shops, and car dealers. The local auto club settled there, and Ford soon built a plant on Baum at Morewood Avenue to assemble Model Ts.

The biggest boost came in 1913 when the Lincoln Highway was established on Halloween; multitudes of cross-country drivers following the premier transcontinental route entered Pittsburgh from the east via Penn Avenue, turned onto Baum Boulevard, followed it for a mile and a half, turned right onto Craig, and quickly merged onto Grant Boulevard for the rest of the route into downtown.


Building Gulf’s First Station

The site chosen by Gulf for its first station was a triangle of land on Baum where St. Clair Street branches northeast. An 1890 map labels that triangle as “Baum Grove—Mellon’s Plan,” a green space in a planned housing development. An 1899 map still shows the grove, and Baum remains mostly empty, but substantial houses had begun to fill plots to the north. By 1911, the triangle was still ascribed to T.R. Mellon et al; from that point east, numerous garages and dealerships had been established selling makes such as Arlen, Buick, Ford, Franklin, Keystone, Standard, White, and Winton.

It’s rumored that Mellon’s triangular property already had a primitive setup selling Gulf gas. When Gulf Oil took over midway through 1913, it leased the property from Mellon at $16 a month for the first year, $24 the second year.

The idea to build a station to rise above all others was the brainchild of Gulf general sales manager W.V. Hartmann, and he turned to James Giesey, architect for the Mellon family.17 Giesey’s challenge was to create a unique structure that could serve the public efficiently and professionally while also storing gasoline, oil, and lube, plus have space for an office and restroom.

Giesey had broad and varied experience; in 1912, he’d assisted in lowering the floor of the Mellon Bank building by 28 inches to accommodate the elimination of Pittsburgh’s “hump,” the rise at the foot of Grant’s Hill that made travel in town difficult.18 Just a few months later, he designed a new office building in Tudor style for the United States Aluminum Company at New Kensington.19 And later that year, when brothers Andrew and Richard Beatty Mellon built the first Mellon Institute for Industrial Research, they turned to Giesey, who chose an austere Classical style.20

Construction got underway in summer 1913. H.S. Moorhead, whose company was tasked with building the novel structure, recalled that the job took a few months, not only because it was a new concept but also because pilings were needed in the sandy soil.21 Lower walls of dark, rough red brick had stucco above the windowsills. Above that, a cantilevered roof (an overhang without supports) covered 13 Bowser Red Sentry pumps that sat on a concrete sidewalk around the building. The style is often called a pagoda for being a small, rounded building with a low, squarish roof, though otherwise it was more workmanlike than stylized. The overhanging roof did shield motorists from weather in the era when almost all cars were open-topped, though few cars ventured out in rainy weather and spent winters up on blocks. Finally, Gulf advertised with large signs made of incandescent bulbs along the roofline cornice.22


Free Services

A notice was sent to nearby automobile owners to announce the opening on December 1.23 Frank McLaughlin, first manager of the station, later explained, “We sent out invitations to all motorists in the neighborhood but how much business this station would do, no one dared to guess.”24 To provide prompt service, four attendants were hired in two overlapping shifts. Early sales were disappointing: just 30 gallons sold the first day, 32 the next. However, word spread and 350 gallons were sold the first Saturday.

McLaughlin recalled, “We had two gasolines, Good Gulf and Peerless Motor, and every drop had to be raised from the underground storage tanks by a one-gallon capacity hand-operated pump.”25 And though gas could be pumped straight into gas tanks, he was instructed to follow what most customers were used to—pour the gas into a five-gallon can and then into the car. Many a driver also brought along a hydrometer to test the specific gravity, which was the current measure of quality.

McLaughlin said that when the first customer asked for crankcase service—an oil change—he didn’t charge for the service, just told the man to tell his neighbors. A few days later, the first neighbor came by and told McLaughlin, “It’s the little extras in a business like this that bring people in.” McLaughlin took the cue, responding that he would also fill radiators for no charge, fill tires with air, and not charge for labor when tires and tubes were bought or repaired. Like Gulf management, McLaughlin wanted it to be, as he said, “a service station.”26

The station was open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., with a guard overnight. Late one night the first spring, a car pulled up, just about out of gas, hoping the guard could drain enough out of the hoses for them to reach home. Instead, the guard offered to turn on the pump and fill the car; two days later, 24-hour service was inaugurated.27 That same spring, the employee washroom was opened to the public, starting a welcome trend that continues to this day.

To promote the station, Gulf embraced the concept of free oil company road maps. The idea originated in spring 1914 with Pittsburgh advertising executive William Akin. After servicing his car (a 1912 Chalmers) at the station, the next day he took a sketch of his idea to company headquarters and convinced Gulf it should mail maps of Allegheny County to potential customers as a way of attracting them to their new retail outlet. His run of 10,000 was a success, so Gulf ordered 300,000 maps of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and New England to mail or hand out. Unfortunately, no copies or photos of the first map are known to survive.28



At least a couple good photos survive of the first Gulf station, but an account that captures the novelty comes from a near-identical station that opened in 1916 on Penn Avenue/Lincoln Highway in Wilkinsburg. Its style was said to be “harmonious in every detail, and is a building designed to look like a gasoline service station—nothing else—and yet have architectural beauty…. The circular construction and the placing of the great pumps which supply gasoline lend particular convenience to incoming and outgoing traffic, the pumps being so placed that there can be no congestion of cars, and the cars are not forced to stop at the curb for oils and gasoline.”29

Within months, imitators were building similar stations too. One company made news by proposing “a chain of service stations along the Lincoln Highway.”30 Standard Oil of California began a chain of 34 stations following standardized guidelines.31

Gulf itself began opening other locations as well. In anticipation of the Bloomfield Bridge that would open in November 1914, Gulf purchased Dauler’s Petroleum Products complex at the bridge’s west end and opened its second station on July 1, 1914.32 The busy intersection at 3600 Grant Boulevard was known as the “Big Bend” for the curve that met the bridge.33 Meanwhile, Dauler still operated his station on Grant at Finland Street, near Polish Hill.34

Atlantic Refining opened its first outlet, which it called a “service station,” in August 1914. Atlantic had purchased a lot on Baum that had been part of the shuttered Luna Park; the site was being developed into numerous auto businesses.35 Atlantic had planned for its plot, on the northeast corner of Melwood, to be “a handsome salesroom and warehouse” for fuel and oils.36 Following Gulf’s success, Atlantic instead opened its first station with public restrooms, free air, telephones, and daily operation (except Sunday).37

Sensing that communities wanted more visual appeal from what was seen as a grimy industry, Atlantic embraced Beaux Arts classicism to appeal to wealthy car-owners and to confer respectability to its brand. Glazed terra cotta abounded along with other architectural flourishes. In a direct challenge to Gulf’s bragging, Atlantic even went as far as calling its first outlet “the first service station in the east.”38 Atlantic would continue to pivot away from Gulf’s small, plain structures by building ever-more elaborate, monument-size stations.

After a stop-and-go gestation, by 1920—just seven years later—the United States had 15,000 service stations.39


So was Gulf First?

On the 50th anniversary of the first Gulf in 1963, a wire-service article feted Gulf’s establishment of “the world’s first drive-in gasoline station.”40 The claim was that other stations were less formal. Most of the other stations lasted only a few years or the companies folded, letting Gulf write and promote its history as being the first.

However, that history would not go unchallenged. The day after the 50th anniversary article ran in the Southeast Missourian, Harvey Dauler’s daughter called the newspaper to defend his claim and make a further one: Gulf had even purchased his existing drive-in station at the Bloomfield Bridge.41

Harvey Dauler, who opened at least two Petroleum Products Company stations in Pittsburgh before Gulf, has a long line of defenders to these claims. His first station in 1908 was the one where the western end of the Bloomfield Bridge would land in 1914 (at 3600 Grant Boulevard, called the “Big Bend”).42 The novelty of it offering fuel, oils, and carburetor adjustments even made the papers: “The gasoline sub-station of Petroleum Products Company on the Grant Boulevard has made quite a stir.”43

In 1910, he also bought property a big block west at Finland Street, where he opened his second station.

In 1912, Dauler replaced his building at the bridge with a massive warehouse, office, and a wide apron for drive-in service. The location made the news this time for its construction of “steel, hollow tile … and ornamental tile roofing.”44 Sadly it made the front page a few months later for a major explosion and horrific death.45

On the Gulf station’s 100th anniversary in 2013, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story46 that brought a swift response from Harvey Dauler’s grandson, Van Dauler, who was the chairman of the board and former president of Neville Chemical Company, founded by Harvey in 1925.

Van wrote, “The Post-Gazette is once again perpetuating the myth that Gulf Oil Company started the first drive in filling station when in fact the first such service station was started by my grandfather Harvey N. Dauler. In the February 26, 1936, National Petroleum News, [they] published a retraction of two articles that they had published and indicated that Harvey N. Dauler had submitted proof that he opened his gas station in 1908. This station was remodeled to a drive-in station in 1912. Both these dates are prior to the Gulf oil claim.”

To this day, Neville Chemical celebrates Harvey’s achievement: “In 1908, Harvey N. Dauler was employed by Gulf Oil Corporation, selling oil and gasoline to garages and repair shops. When he suggested that Gulf establish curbside stations to sell gasoline directly to motorists, his idea was rejected. Dauler resigned and opened what is generally accepted to be the world’s first service station on Bigelow Boulevard in Pittsburgh.”47 By 1923, maps show his location on Grant at Finland Street was now a Pure Oil station.

Dauler and Gulf had other competitors in town too. Gasoline Supply Co. began opening locations in 1913. Little else is known, but by November, it advertised four “service stations”: downtown on Liberty Avenue at Second Street, East End on Penn Avenue at Beatty Street, Wilkinsburg at 606 Penn, and its “Boulevard Station” at 3755 Grant Boulevard in North Oakland.48

And then there was the Murwin Gasoline Company drive-in station, opened in June 1913. It sat just west of Dauler’s at 3393 Grant Boulevard, near the five-way intersection with Herron Avenue. A news report explained that Murwin “set their building back of the pavement line, so that the cars, when filling, are off the street and pavement line and in no danger of a collision from the rear.”49 The drive-in had Wayne pumps, a pagoda-style roof, and overall the building was “of Swiss architecture”—surely all noticed by Gulf’s architect Giesey.

More amazing, the Murwin station survives! It is painted black and covered with graffiti but it still stands along Bigelow Boulevard. Decrepit and silent, it remains the lone tangible connection to the “who was first” station competition.



More than a century on, no one living can remember what became of Gulf’s first station, but luckily an 80-year-old postcard can now bring some clarity. I was contacted by Ellen Smith Davis, whose family took over Gulf’s first station site about 1940.50 The postcard shows the first Gulf had been replaced by a larger station in the new “brick tapestry” style that Gulf had adopted in the early 1920s.

Ellen wrote, “My husband’s grandfather, Trevor Leonard Smith, and his brother, Lewis G. Smith, owned that business and its precursor, Lewis G. Smith and Co., Inc. From family lore I know that Mr. Trevor Smith was friendly with many of the chauffeurs to the rich of the day, as he kept their cars in working order. He resided close by the Baum/St. Clair Street location.”51

By 1952, directories show the triangular site on Baum vacant, then the following year it was a used car lot.52 It has been a parking lot as long as anyone can remember, but when the concrete ages, some old driveway outlines can still be discerned.

So what can we conclude about Gulf’s first station?

As the 50th anniversary articles stated, “This first station was to change the concept of gasoline marketing, set a style for such stations for years to come, and, for the first time, change the name of such outlets from ‘filling’ stations to ‘service’ stations.”53 Gulf too has long referred to it as the “world’s first drive-in service station,”54 though we see others were using that term beforehand.

Ultimately, the long-standing tussle shows the peculiar human desire to be first. Claiming a “first” brings pride to a community and shows, in their minds, that they are more innovative, more welcoming to inventors, or just plain smarter for having created something before others … no matter how many qualifiers must be added after the word “first.”

Gulf may not have been the first drive-in, or first to call itself a service station, but it undoubtedly had the foresight to design its building for convenience, then deliver its products and services in a welcoming, professional manner that set the standard for all that followed. Perhaps we can call it “the world’s first architect-designed, drive-in service station.”


About the Author

Brian Butko has published books on local and roadside businesses, and is writing a haunted historical mystery inspired by his hometown quarry. He is editor of the History Center’s quarterly journal, Western Pennsylvania History.

Thank you to the History Center’s Library & Archives staff including Jennie Benford, Tim Breslin, Margaret Hewitt, Art Louderback, Carly Lough, and Matt Strauss, and thank you also to proofreaders Lee Ann Draud, Margaret Hewitt, Sue Morris, and Elizabeth Simpson Romano.

Learn more about Gulf at the Heinz History Center’s Detre Library & Archives in the extensive Gulf Oil Corporation Records, 1865-1985, MSS 954. Artifacts in the museum collection can also be found at: http://museumcollections.heinzhistorycenter.org/search/gulf/.

1 The Gulf Oil Historical Society offers brand information, including about the first station at http://www.gulfhistory.org/specs/stations/page2.html. The mention of previous Gulf stations refers to others who were selling Gulf gas such as Harvey Dauler’s Petroleum Products Company station.

2 “First Drive-In Filling Station Historical Marker,” dedicated July 11, 2000, at http://explorepahistory.com/hmarker.php?markerId=1-A-112. “Gulf Refining was the first company to professionalize the service.”

3 Six years after Model T intro, gasoline replaced kerosene as the country’s leading refined petroleum product. Michael Karl Witzel, The American Gas Station (Osceola, WI: Motorbooks, 1992), p. 29.

4 The 1905 story is recounted (though mentions a hand pump and not gravity) in the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for “Gardner & Tinslev Filling Station” in New Cambria, MO, 2002, at https://mostateparks.com/sites/mostateparks/files/Gardner%20and%20Tinsely%20Filling%20Station.pdf

5 “1st Gas Station Argued: Gulf Kicks at Standard Claim,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 5, 1966, p. 10; “Service Station Controversy,” The Morning Record, Meriden, CT, Sept. 29, 1966.

6 John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle, “The Gas Station in America” (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1994) p. 131-132.

7 See Reighard’s history at https://martinoilco.com/reighards/.

8 “Handsome Quarter of Murwin Gasoline Co.,” Pittsburgh Press, June 29, 1913, p. 17.

9 “Gasoline Supply Co.” ad, Pittsburgh Press, Nov. 16, 1913, Editorial Section, p. 6.

10 The Gulf Oil Historical Society says that Gulf’s “true ‘Birthday’ was November 10th, 1901. On that date, in Pittsburgh PA, the charter for the ‘Gulf Refining Company of Texas’ was signed. This was the first official use of the word ‘Gulf’ as an oil concern,” at http://www.gulfhistory.org/specs/index.htm.

11 Sculle p. 100.

12 Figures are from Motor Vehicle Registrations via www.allcountries.org/uscensus/1027_motor_vehicle_registrations.html, sourced from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics, annual:
1900 8,000
1905 79,000
1909 312,000
1913 1,258,000
1915 2,491,000

13 Gabrielle Esperdy, American Autopia: An Intellectual History of the American Roadside at Midcentury (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019), online at https://www.google.com/books/edition/American_Autopia/QeONDwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=pittsburgh+architect+%22James+Giesey%22&pg=PT52&printsec=frontcover

14 Brian Butko, Luna: Pittsburgh’s Original Lost Kennywood (Pittsburgh: Heinz History Center, 2017), p. 45–46. Before it was complete, Baum had been Atlantic, and then briefly, Atherton Avenue.

15 H.S. Moorhead, “Old Baum Boulevard,” The Orange Disc, November-December, 1953, p. 11.

16 As historian Robert Bruce noted, by 1919, “For more than a mile this section of Baum Street, or Baum Boulevard, is the ‘Automobile Row’ of Pittsburgh; and even a run through without stop impresses the stranger with the number and variety of motor car agencies, many occupying their own large and costly buildings,” per Robert Bruce, “The Historic Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Highway—Part XXVII,” Motor Travel, September 1919, p. 35 (p 29-37). This is the magazine of the Automobile Club of America. Society could sense the coming tidal wave: a June 1913 newspaper article lamented that the end was near for the hitching post, the livery stable, and the blacksmith now that the automobile has become so ubiquitous, bringing with it garages, repair shops, and gasoline filling stations. But the article was not negative—it saw far greater opportunity for manufacturers to turn to automobile needs, per “What has Become of the Hitching Post?,” Pittsburgh Post, June 25, 1913, Sporting Section, p. 3. The July 23, 1913, Horseless Age mentions Baum Boulevard businesses U.S. Tire, Buick, Forbes, Ford, Henderson, Locomobile, Oldsmobile, Wahl, Williams-Halsey, Winton, and Pittsburgh-Haynes Automobile Co. The East Liberty market house had been taken over by the Automobile Dealers’ Assn. and renamed Motor Square Garden.

17 Obituary for J.H. Giesey, Pittsburgh Press, November 18, 1938, p. 4, states that he was an architect in Pittsburgh for 20 years, c. 1899¬–1919.

18 “Drop Building 28 Inches in the Hump District,” Pittsburgh Press, June 1, 1912, p. 2. At its largest excavation, the hump was lowered 18 feet.

19 “New Office Building for the United States Aluminum Co.,” Pittsburgh Press, June 14, 1914, p. 36.

20 It is still there as Allen Hall for the University of Pittsburgh, per Patricia Lowery, “Remnants of Pitt’s ‘Campus Beautiful’ May Face Demolition,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 7, 1993, Sunday Magazine p. 12, and “The New Mellon Institute is a Modern Research Laboratory,” Pittsburgh Press, February 14, 1915, p. 8. A 1916 clipping states that he was designing a residential home.

21 Building information is from Moorhead, 1953. H.S. Moorhead was also president of the Pittsburgh Transportation Association, per Gas Saving Accelerator Co. ad, Pittsburgh Sunday Post, June 20, 1920.

22 The builder said anchors had to run down to the footers to keep the roof from blowing off, per Moorhead, p. 11.

23 It’s widely reported that on the exact same day, December 1, 1913, Ford introduced the moving assembly line to mass produce cars, but it’s not true. Experiments with a moving assembly line had been underway for some time, with full use underway on October 7. The December day saw a test of making the line longer, per Horace Lucian Arnold and Fay Leone Faurote, Ford Methods and the Ford Shops (New York: Engineering Magazine Co., 1915), p. 136.

24 F.P. McLaughlin, “We Were First!,” The Orange Disc, March-April, 1940, p. 3.

25 McLaughlin, 1940, p. 4.

26 Ibid.

27 McLaughlin, 1940, p. 5.

28 Harold Cramer, “The Early Gulf Road Maps of Pennsylvania,” Articles on Historical Maps of Pennsylvania, https://www.mapsofpa.com/article5.htm.

29 Penn was also the Lincoln Highway. Duplicate stations had also opened in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. This station was opposite Columbia Hospital, just west of the PRR tracks, per and “Gulf Refining Co. Locates New Station,” Pittsburgh Sunday Post, October 29, 1916, Sec. 3, p. 7, and “New Gasoline Service Station is Completed,” Pittsburgh Gazette Times, October 29, 1916, Sec. 6, p. 4.

30 National United Service Co. of Detroit, as reported in Horseless Age: The Automobile Trade Magazine, May 27, 1914, p. 817.

31 The chain was launched in 1914 per Sculle p. 132, and Witzel, p. 29.

32 See for example, “Gulf Service Stations” ad, Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 12, 1914, Sec. 2, p. 7.

33 Ad, acquisition of new service station, Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Sec 6, p. 3

34 “Gasoline & Oils” classified lists the PPC retail station at 3501 Grant Boulevard, though that does differ from the 3500 address previously listed, per Pittsburgh Press, September 5, 1915, p. 43.

35 “Realty Sales Were of Minor Nature Today, Pittsburgh Press, Oct. 16, 1913, p 16.

36 “Handsome Building Is Planned,” Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Oct 22, 1913, p. 15.

37 Opening ad, Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Aug. 15, 1914, p. 11.

38 Information on Atlantic architecture is from Keith A. Sculle, “Pittsburgh’s Monuments to Motoring: Atlantic’s Fabulous Stations,” Western Pennsylvania History, Fall 2000, p. 122–135, 168.

39 Sculle p. 132.

40 See for example, “Anniversary of First Gas Station,” the Southeast Missourian, Dec. 9, 1963. Oddly, Pittsburgh’s over version in the Press was a short feature in the Sunday Roto, Dec. 1, 1963. Also see Rich Gigler, “Who Did Open The First Gas Station,” Pittsburgh Press, July 10, 1983, Family Magazine, p. 1 & 3.

41 “Father of Local Woman Was Gas Station Pioneer,” St. Joseph Gazette, Dec. 3, 1963, p. 2.

42 “New Gasoline Basis,” Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Oct. 4, 1908, Sec. 3, p. 5., is the first mention of a Dauler station. Since “Other Notable Sales,” Pittsburgh Post, Feb. 18, 1910, p. 11, is the first mention of Dauler buying the Polish Hill site on Grant near Finland, the 1908 site is likely the Bloomfield Bridge area site. Also see city directories; for example, 1909 lists Harvey Dauler Petroleum 3600 Grant Boulevard, 1917 lists him as President of Petroleum Products at 3503 Bigelow Blvd., and 1919 as President of Beaver Refining Co

43 “New Gasoline Basis,” 1908.

44 “It is noticeable that the builders are not losing sight of the artistic in having architects design them,” this one by architect Sidney F. Heckert, per “Warehouse to Be Built,” Pittsburgh Gazette Times, September 24, 1911, Sec. 2, p. 4, and see “Another New Industry,” Pittsburgh Gazette Times, October 22, 1911, Sec. 2, p. 6.

45 “Grant Boulevard Explosion Kills One, Injures Ten,” Pittsburgh Post, July 12, 1910, p.1

46 Michael Sanserino, “Fill ’Er Up!,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dec. 1, 2013, p. D1 & D4

47 “Neville Chemical Company History” at https://www.nevchem.com/history?rq=Dauler/.

48 “Gasoline Supply Co.” ad, 1913. Also see incorporation notices, May 1911.

49 “Handsome Quarter,” 1913. Also see the company ad, Pittsburgh Press, June 22, 1913, p. 16, and “State Charters Granted,” Pittsburgh Post, April 16, 1913, p. 3, showing that the name was a combination of Murphy and Irwin.

50 The 1940 Pittsburgh City Directory shows for the first time that could be located, a listing for 5801-09 Baum of “Smith Lewis G & Co. filling station.”

51 E-mails with Ellen Smith Davis, Houston, Texas, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2017. She added, “I believe the business may have been originally at 138 Whitfield St. based on some correspondence.”

52 Pittsburgh City Directories, 1916–1953.

53 “Anniversary,” Southeast Missourian, 1963, and similar wire service articles. For more recent writing, see “Fill ’er Up: Convenience on the Road, 1913,” in Fran Capo and Scott Bruce, It Happened in Pennsylvania (Guilford, CT: Twodot, 2005), p. 77–80.

54 See, for example, McLaughlin, 1940, and Moorhead, 1953.

Date November 30, 2022
  • Brian Butko