20 thoughts on “SE Foster Road, 1929

  1. We know where this is, as the distinct roof is in the background of this picture looking East on Foster at 72nd.

    If the pumps under the shelter are for gas, what are the pumps on the island in front of the station for?

  2. I think they contained lubricants and/or oil.
    MARFAC was the Texaco brand name.
    Which brings into question the Richfield sign…

  3. It was very common then for small independent gas stations to carry multiple brands. The pumps are branded from left to right: Richfield (Today’s ARCO), Shell, GASCO Motor Fuel (Made right here in Portland!), and Texaco.

  4. Comparing today’s photo with the one igor1882 included, it looks like this is the modern view (currently from July 2016):

  5. Scott James, I think you’re on the wrong side of Foster and 72nd. Igor’s link is looking east, past 72nd, putting the station on the south side of Foster between 72nd and 73rd, about where Portland Mercado is now.

  6. The tanks on the left are motor oil, we refilled glass bottles from them to add to engines. Quite common to need a quart of oil with each tank of gas on a newer car, much more as miles increased. In the thirties an engine overhaul, at least rings and valves, was normally needed by about 75,000 miles.

  7. “Nice to meet you sir. I’ve come with my pipe and my numbers to let you know the city is going to widen the street here and your filling station is going to go…..Down the Tubes”

  8. “Wha-… The Numbers Man isn’t holding up his numbers.”

    I’m still surprised that the Number Man hasn’t been identified by name. So many photos, so anonymous.

  9. Me too Steve. Someone in PDX must be related, a great-grandpa etc. Even the city should have some information about his identity as he appears to be everywhere doing this work and taking great pride in it too!

  10. As Dave said, the widening was done at that point. The curb and sidewalk are all new, yet the new added lane has yet to be paved between the existing road and the new curb.

  11. Dave and Robert

    Thx for the info. Wondered abut that unpaved portion of Foster that has appeared in several VP posts recently.

  12. The gas pumps are still gravity type although long after electricity, wonder when electric pumps were first used. I remember pumping these back up to the zero line after the check of oil, water, battery, tires, windshield and watching a customer drive away. Remote areas often maintained a gravity or visible pump after electricity in case of power failure, long before Honda generators.

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