Friday, July 25, 2014

50 years of self-service gasoline pumps

June 11. 2014 8:53AM

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The modern self-serve fuel pump turned 50 years old on June 10.

AAA Mid-Atlantic indicated the date in a news release. John Roscoe activated the first remote access, self-service gasoline pumps at his convenience store in Westminster, Colorado on June 10, 1964.

Self-service pumps, however, were not immediately embraced — several states placed laws to ban the concept.

“Four years after its launch, 23 states still had bans in place,” the news release state. “The OPEC oil embargo of 1973-74 sent fuel prices soaring and gave consumers a strong impetus to save as much as they could on gas. Many of the statewide bans were reversed. Today, New Jersey and Oregon are the only states that still have statutes prohibiting self-service fueling.”

AAA Mid-Atlantic also provided a small table to indicate just how the times have changed since self-service pumps for came around in 1964:

• A gallon of regular gasoline cost $0.30 in 1964. The national gas price average is $3.64 today.

• Pulling into a gas station in 1964 meant driving over a rubber hose to signal the attendant that a customer had arrived. Today, motorist speak directly to attendants from the pump.

• Attendants would automatically wash windshields for customers at the pump in 1964. Attendants would also ask if they could check the oil, tires and other functions of a customer’s automobile.

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