Monday, December 08, 2008

A Glimpse Back To Some Of The Rare Charm Of America's Former 100 Year-Long Petroleum-Powered Automobile Age

"Petroleum corporations embraced corporate packaging in the 1910s and adopted trademarks, brand names, and look-alike gas stations. Chains were able to identify themselves to prospective customers with easily recognizable standardized gas stations that appeared the same regardless of the location.

Many "house" gas stations were prefabricated and followed a standardized design chosen by the oil company. The standardized gas station quickly became a marketing tool because the public could easily identify the oil franchise by the appearance of its gas stations. In addition to being easily identified, the standardized plans cost less to construct, since the same equipment and materials would be used for each structure.

The Pure Oil Company was one of the first American corporations to use architecture as a corporate symbol. In 1927 the company adopted a standard "English Cottage" design that was executed hundreds of times over the following decade. The eclectic design was intended to characterize quaint charm, warmth, and a homey appearance. The company was able to create a sense of corporate identity and market a carefully crafted image based on standardization of all aspects of design, including signage, logos, buildings, and "Pure Oil Blue" color schemes." ...


Header: Freitag's Pure Oil "English Cottage" service station, c.1979.
Note the "Pure Oil Blue" chimney pots and steeply pitched tile

Text and photo credit: State of Wisconsin Division of Historic Preservation via Wisconsin Historical Society. With thanks.


"The Bush White House, in its proposal for an auto rescue plan, called for the creation of a “financial viability adviser” within the Commerce Department charged with negotiating a “long-term financial viability plan” for each of the auto companies.

If such a viability plan could not be negotiated, the White House proposal called for allowing the adviser to mandate one.

Democrats were weighing counterproposals calling for the creation of a full oversight board, made up of the secretaries of commerce, energy, labor, transportation and of the Treasury, and the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency." ...

David M. Herszenhorn and Jackie Calmes "White House Says Deal on Auto Bailout Appears to Be Close" New York Times December 8, 2008


Post a Comment

<< Home