Historical Markers
First Drive-In Filling Station Historical Marker
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First Drive-In Filling Station

Pittsburgh Region


Marker Location:
Baum and St. Clair Streets, Pittsburgh

Dedication Date:
July 11, 2000

Behind the Marker

Prior to the construction of the first Gulf station in Pittsburgh and the countless filling stations that followed throughout the United States, automobile drivers pulled into almost any old general or hardware store, or even blacksmith shops in order to fill up their tanks.

An antique truck is parked next to a small, octagonal shaped building. Several people are standing around the building, filling small tanks.
"Good Gulf Gasoline" filling station, Baum Boulevard and St. Clair...

Gulf Refining was the first company to professionalize the service. The decision to open the first station along Baum Boulevard in Pittsburgh was no accident. By 1913 when the station was opened, Baum Boulevard had become known as "automobile row" because of the high number of dealerships that were located along the thoroughfare.

Gulf executives must have figured that there was no better way to get the public hooked on using filling stations than if they could pull right in and gas up their new car after having just driven it off the lot.

In addition to gas, the Gulf station also offered free air and water and it sold the first commercial road maps in the United States. Fortunately, since Gulf was already an industrial giant early in the twentieth century, they were able to take the risk in launching a business venture that ultimately paid off, and would forever change the face of the American landscape.

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