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Tank Wagons and Trucks
Tank Wagons
Storage Stations
Wagon Builders, Tank Fitters
Early Conveyances
Early Tank Trucks
Tank Trucks, 1921-1941
Manufacturer's Advertising
Tank Makers and Fitters
Tank Truck Town
World War II

Storage Stations

In the 1880’s, 90’s and into the early 1900’s, the station was a bulk storage facility, not a filling station or service station. The latter types of gasoline stations came into being when enough motor cars and trucks were on the roads and streets to effectively demand that type of handy marketing. Bulk stations were situated where they could be supplied with product by railroad tank cars or by pipeline. They were essential to the distribution of products. Standard had about 3000 stations in the U.S. in 1900 and 3573 by 1906 (Williamson and Daum, 1959), all of them being the local hubs for distribution of product by tank wagons.

The early bulk stations for refined products (mostly kerosene and gasoline) usually consisted of two or more tanks, generally with the capacity of 16,000 to 17,000 gallons each, but tanks up to 35,000 barrel tanks (1,435,000 gallons) were installed in a few places such as Bakersfield, California, near the Kern River field for crude oil (White, 1962) showing that tankage could greatly increase for refined products if the refined market at that time had a need for that volume of storage anywhere. The product storage tanks held kerosene (sometimes two grades of it) and a lesser amount of gasoline which was used in some factories as an illuminant in the 1880’s and 90’s, albeit dangerous. There were different sizes of stations, ranging from an "outpost’ or small substation (two tanks) to those serving large cities which had quite a few large storage tanks, as well as a warehouse to store greases, oils and diverse products, and even a barrel plant with boilers.

© 2004, Samuel T. Pees
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