According to the New York Times (but not Wikipedia), the first American drive-in gas station opened in Pittsburgh on this day in 1913. In the ensuing 97 years (or 101, or 105, or 122...your mileage may vary), the gas station has become a symbol of the American love of automobiles and a surprising source of inspiration for artists. Here are four photographs from the Carter's collection that document gas stations across the country.
Berenice Abbott (1898-1991), Sobol Gas Station at Night, New York, gelatin silver print, 1929-1939, Gift of P/K Associates, New York, New York, © Commerce Graphics Ltd., Inc.
Esther Bubley (1921-1998), Cecil Faris, Mayor of Tomball, Operates a Filling Station, Tomball, Texas, gelatin silver print, 1945, Gift of Texas Monthly, Inc., printed from a negative in the Standard Oil of New Jersey Collection, University of Louisville Photographic Archives, © Standard Oil Company
Ed Ruscha (b. 1937), Flying A, Kingman, Arizona, gelatin silver print, 1962, ©1962 Edward Ruscha
Terry Falke (b. 1950), Gallup, NM, dye coupler print, 1995, Gift of Dominic Lam, © 1995 Terry Falke