The most significant features of our landscape are often invisible to us. For example: how often have you wondered about the evolution of the gas station? How many gas stations are there in the U.S.? Are gas stations increasing or decreasing in number? What do Bauhaus and feminism have to do with gas station architecture?
Whether or not these questions have kept you awake at night (or been asked of you during job interviews), this delightful hybrid between architectural history, economics, pop-culture studies, and geography will give you unexpected insights into one of the more important components of the American landscape. Illustrated with more than 150 maps, photos, and drawings, and highly recommended.
"Provides important information and insights for those who will explain more fully the American landscape of consumption." -- Thomas Hine, New York Times Book Review
"An exemplary exercise in scholarship... The authors' thorough account offers an interesting and wide-ranging history of the development of the forms of the gas station, the reason for their development, and the significance of these structures in the developed landscape." -- Bruce E. Seely, Design Book Review
"A valuable edition to landscape studies, and a fine book." -- Paul Shepheard, Times Higher Education Supplement
"Fascinating data and documentation... Gas stations have been around as long as automobiles, of course, but they've undergone almost as many transformations as the cars themselves... There are plenty of charts, tables, and maps, but also 150 nostalgic photographs of those old filling stations in all their individual glory." -- Parade Magazine
"Fans of Route 66 will be fascinated... Though this intriguing book is amply illustrated with photos and figures, it's a cultural and business study more than a picture book. What marketing strategies were behind the Bauhaus-inspired stations of the 1930s, the English-Cottage style stations of the 1940s? What's an octane rating, how did stations differ from one region to another? It's all here." -- Chicago Books in Review
"The whole history of the industry, the art of marketing and pumping down to today when, as we pump our own fuel, we must do so under a roof and frequently from the pump of a small 'supermarket,' is outlined in this sensible and informative book. Many a forgotten sight and smell is evoked. Lavishly illustrated." -- Ray Browne, Journal of Popular Culture