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Pure Oil Company Gas Station Postcards

February 2nd, 2009 · 5 Comments

Pure Oil Gas Station and Roadside Motel on Route 11 Near Harrisonburg, Virginia

As we weather the remnants of the Great Ice Storm of 2009 here in Kentucky and await the return of Alexander Graham Bell’s fabulous invention — the telephone — our mind began to wander to more pleasant thoughts: in our case, roadside Americana that we saw when young(er). Every summer, Dad took us on road trips to historical sites. We think we’ve seen every Civil War battlefield and every museum on the East Coast from Mystic Harbor, Connecticut on down to about the Florida state line.


Bored by battlefields, we began collecting roadside America postcards. An especially nice example which we recently acquired is this c. 1930s triple-view post card of the Pure Oil gas station and roadside motel on Route 11, five miles south of Harrisonburg, Virginia. This old postcard offers an interesting glimpse into motel rooms of the time. Spartan by today’s standards, they offered neither a radio nor a telephone. (Television wouldn’t make its motel room debut until the early 1950s.)

Pure Oil, founded in 1914 in Columbus, Ohio, began building its signature blue-roofed gas stations, based loosely upon English cottage architecture, in about 1926; more “contemporary” designs emerged in the late 1940s. Published by Marken & Bielfeld of Frederick, Maryland, this is a classic roadside America, Rockingham County or petroliana collectible in excellent condition.

See some frightful meteorology postcards and be grateful for the weather you’ve got, or visit our selection of Route 40 postcards at our website to see some more old roadside America postcards. Or, visit the world’s largest postcard bookstore.

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Tags: Postcards

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 VintagePostcards // Mar 10, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Hi there! I don’t remember when the hotspots gave postcards away, but I do remember being able to collect lots of them with my tiny-sized child’s allowance. :) You’re right, even the new ones are relatively expensive, by comparison, now.

  • 2 daniel o'donnell // Jul 4, 2009 at 7:50 am

    i can’t find any of the “pure oil gas stations ” postcards

  • 3 VintagePostcards // Jul 5, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Daniel,

    If you use the search box function on the home page of the website, http://www.vintagepostcards.org/ and you enter “pure oil,” you’ll find a copy available.

  • 4 Another postcard blog « Postcard verso // Aug 5, 2009 at 2:32 am

    [...] interesting from what I have seen so far – for example the blog features a nice example of a roadside motel and gas station and a curious one of 1952 Pontiac decorated folk art [...]

  • 5 Liz Reese // Aug 16, 2013 at 9:51 am

    My grandfather & grandmother owned a Pure Oil Filling Station located at 397 N. 20th Street in Columbus, Ohio. I would like to view the records. I would also like to know if they were the 1st African-Americans to own a Pure Oil station.

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