Fill’er Up: Reed Brothers Full Service Gasoline Station

Do you remember full service gas stations? I sure do. As a baby boomer growing up in the 60s, I remember Reed Brothers Dodge as a full service gasoline station. The uniformed attendant would greet the customer by name, fill the car up with gas, wipe the windshield, check the tire pressures and check under the hood. Back then, getting a tank of gas could take up to 10-15 minutes per person. I used to love to hear the bell ding after every gallon pumped. Gulf had orange foam balls you could place on your car’s antenna and they also gave away things like pens, key chains, calendars and road maps.

Reed Brothers Dodge was the first Gulf gasoline dealer in the Washington, D.C. area. In 1915, they began selling gas at their original location in Old Rockville at the triangle at Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike. Their first gas station consisted of a single pump. Later, in addition to gas, they carried a full line of Gulf lubricants, Goodyear tires, Willard batteries, complimentary road maps, free air and water, and many other well known brands of merchandise to meet their patrons needs. Reed Brothers discontinued offering this product line when they relocated to their new facility in November 1970.

Below are two previously unpublished photos of Reed Brothers full service Gulf gas station. Both photos were taken at its original location in Old Rockville at the triangle at Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike.  (click on photos for larger images)

Reed Brothers Dodge Gulf Gas Station

Reed Brothers Dodge canopied Gulf Gas Station circa 1936. A closer look reveals the price of gasoline as 15 cents. On the right attached to a telephone pole is a sign pointing the way to Olney. In addition to the Gulf signage there is a small, barely visible sign below that promotes, “Clean Rest Rooms”.

Below is a 1950’s photo of  the Reed Brothers Dodge Gulf Gasoline station. The famous Gulf “ice box” design dates back to late 1930’s and there were  probably more of these built than any single one of the later Gulf designs. A Coca Cola machine is visible in front of the white Dodge Dart parked in front of the service bay. The sign in the grass on the right reads, “We’re Making Deals on Gulf Tires”.

Reed Brothers Dodge Gulf Gas Station

Reed Brothers Dodge Gulf Gas Station circa 1953

Gulf Gas 1956

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About Jeanne Gartner

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006.

2 responses to “Fill’er Up: Reed Brothers Full Service Gasoline Station”

  1. Mercedes S Class Rental says :

    These pictures triggered a walk down the memory lane. Back then Gas stations were more than just plain old gas stations of today, visiting one was always something folks wanted to do, it was also a point to chat up while the inspection was being made on the vehicle and people had more time to spend and service was literally about going the extra mile unlike today. Both the travellers and the locals enjoyed the service of the Gas Stations back in the day.

    Ralph

    • Reed Brothers says :

      Sadly, full service gas stations are now considered a thing of the past along with milk delivery, phone booths and eight-track cassettes. Thanks for taking the time to visit our blog and leave your comment. Very happy your visit here brought back some memories.

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