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When did gasoline stations open?

Find out when the first gasoline stations opened.

Early gasoline stations were cute and efficient. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
Early gasoline stations were cute and efficient.

The first gasoline station opened in Bordeaux, France in December 1895 by A. Barol. It provided overnight parking, repair service and refills of oil and motor spirit. In April 1897 a parking and refueling establishment, Brighton Cycle and Motor Co., opened in Brighton, England.

The pump which would be used to eventually dispense gasoline was devised by Sylanus Bowser of Fort Wayne, Indiana, but in September 1885, it dispensed kerosene. Twenty years later Bowser manufactured the first self-regulating gasoline pump. In 1912, a Standard Oil of Louisiana superstation opened in Memphis, Tennessee, featuring 13 pumps, a ladies' rest room and a maid who served ice water to waiting customers. On December 1, 1913 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the Gulf Refining Company opened the first drive-in station as a 24 hour-a-day operation. Only 30 gallons (114 liters) of gasoline were sold the first day.

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