17 thoughts on “Tom’s Burlington Garage, circa 1931

  1. This is such a cool photo. Does anyone know what the container in the back of the car is for? I understand that some cars back then used to use some alternative fuels. Is this what is in that container?

  2. Definately a milk can, it would be ruined if used for liquids other than milk or water. Milk had to be delivered to the creamery daily, the gravity gasoline pumps shown here indicate electricity is still not widespread in the area.

  3. Another Great photo. I did some street surfing @ google map and wonder if what I found today was this station back then. 17007 NW St. Helens Rd.

  4. I was curious about the ad on the spare tire cover touting a Portland-based “Fred Christensen Inc.” company that “moves the earth.” My first impression was that this might refer to a moving company. But, checking the press archives, I see that native Portlander Fred Christensen (1888-1958) was the owner of an excavation contracting company involved in preparing residential and business construction sites. Maybe the roadster was a company car? Or the person using it to deliver milk leased the tire cover space to Christensen Inc. for advertising purposes?

    Could not learn anything about “Tom.” However, the Burlington Garage business seems to have been around since at least 1917 through maybe the early 1950s. The garage operator in 1952 was named Ted McLain.

  5. Although the container occupying the rumble seat resembles a milk can it is in fact a bulk oil can. Motor oil, hypoid gear oil or a similar lubricant. The cover is a dead give away. Probably for a local bulk customer such as a logger or small contractor or trucker.It has a capacity of five gallons or less.

  6. assuming the car is a company car (based on spare cover), the driver is probably picking up a can full of oil for their earth-moving machines.

  7. george, that is an excellent candidate – look further down the road to the right, and the house there now has the exact same roofline as the one in background of the old photo. porch has been walled in, but it sure looks like the same house.

  8. wl; I thought so, (maybe) Most don’t really see that much along side the road (Hwy 30) as we buzz by @ 50+. It’s kinda fun w/street views. I did notice also the fancy house built above it now. Next time I’m out there I’ll stop and check it out. With photo copy.

  9. Don’t quote me in this, but I believe that this is a 1925 Hudson. It is a senior bodied car, and quite expensive for the day, which lends to the possibility that Tom is servicing Mr. Christiansen’s car and returning bulk oil in the rumble seat…or, that’s Fred lounging on the running board of his own car…

  10. Great Photo! I drive through Burlington frequently and wonder what it must have been like as a village. I know that before the bridge was built in 1950, the only way to drive to Sauvie Island was via the Burlington Ferry.

  11. Does anyone here know of a historian for the Linnton to Burlington area? Knows the events say over the last 50 years or so as opposed to 1800’s? Looking for manufacturing type plant, fire, stone/brick remnants…..old gas station too…picture above prompts this….appreciate any help!

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