Actually in the beginning the oil that comes from the well was shipped in barrels loaded onto ships and railway flatcars.

When refineries became more common(around the 20's)the railroads developed steel tankcars to transport the large quantities of oil to the refineries and the gasoline from them. The introduction of the Automobile(Model "T") in 1908 soon mushroomed and by 1910 there were nearly half-million cars.

World War 1 with it's attendant need for gasoline caused a surge in pipeline building. The first overland gasoline pipeline was laid by Harry Sinclair in 1918 from Kansas City to East Chicago, Ill. By 1920 there were nine-million cars!

Railroads hauled much of this gas/oil during the period from 1900-1930. Gasoline/oil is shipped in ICC 105-A-300-W, non coiled,insulated tankcars.

The development of the Inland Waterways(in the 20-30's)by the Corps of Engineers made hauling oil by barge less costly than rail. During World War 2 the 22 inch "Big Inch" and the 20 inch "Little Inch" pipelines were built. These and other pipelines carry much of the oil/gas from the wells. Today most of the product is pumped by pipeline from the wells to the refineries. From the refineries the refined gasoline, fuel oil etc is pumped via pipeline to large storage tanks.

Several types of products can be pumped in a pipeline in batches. From there the gasoline is carried by trucks to the gasoline stations. Railroad tankcars are used to carry the finished products from the refineries to the users. There are many types of "feedstocks" from the refineries which are carried by rail to industrial plants which convert them into other products.

Gasoline has Fueled America's Love of Cars Since 1907

When Frank and Charles Duryea built the United States' first gasoline powered automobile in 1892, they had little idea they were sparking a love affair. The crude vehicle-running on spindly wheels and powered by a one-cylinder engine - was homely, noisy and about as reliable as an overwound pocket watch. Nevertheless, the public took to the machine faster than detractors could say, "Get a horse." By 1912, more than half a million vehicles cruised the country's roadways.

Today, Americans own nearly 200 million cars, buses and trucks. Fueling this infatuation are about 210,000 service stations nationwide. And whether they're huge or humble, on interstates or city streets, modern service stations owe much of their evolution to Chevron.

1907-1919 The First Stations

Fueling up wasn't easy for early drivers. Gasoline was a byproduct of kerosene refining, and only a handful of liveries and dry goods stores sold it. Motorists bought the fuel in buckets and filled their tanks with funnels.

In 1907, the Standard Oil Company of California (now Chevron) saw the need for an easier and safer way to refuel. Near its Seattle kerosene refinery, the company built the first U.S. service station. Although the facility was little more than a shed, a 30-gallon tank and a garden hose, it drew up to 200 customers a day. Delighted with the brisk business, the owners put a rain-blocking canopy on the shed - the first example of a customer amenity.

In 1913, Gulf Corporation (which merged with Chevron in 1984) made its own history by opening the first drive-up service station. The brick, pagoda-style station was situated on a high traffic Pittsburgh street and featured free air, water, restrooms and a lighted sign touting "Good Gulf Gasoline."

In the next few years, the service station industry boomed. Entrepreneurs formed more than 200 new petroleum companies in 1916 alone. Stations were rustic and functional. Customers pumped their gasoline by hand, while attendants tallied the price on paper.

Even in these formative years, dealers saw the value of good community relations. In San Francisco, dealers tended vegetable gardens on station grounds to set a wartime example. "Substantial edible results can be attained by those who make gardens their field of recreation," reported the Standard Oil Bulletin.

1920-1929 The Dawn of Full-Serve

As thousands of cracker-box stations continued to crop up curbside, Socal (Standard of California's nickname) worked to distinguish its outlets from the competition. Neon signs, water fountains and vending machines began to appear. So did tall, glass-domed "visi-gage" pumps that dispensed two grades of gasoline without hand pumping. Even with improved technology, however, filling a typical car's 5-gallon tank took eight minutes. To keep customers content while filling up, attendants wiped the windshields, checked the oil and water and, if necessary, cranked the engines. Additional maintenance was done in "lubritoriums," predecessors to modern lube bays.

In exchange for their attentiveness, attendants (called "Special Agents" at some Socal stations) often received tips of 10 or 25 cents. The gratuities may have served as necessary morale boosters, since the average gas jockey received one day off for every 13 worked.

1930-1939 Sophistication and Flight of Fancy

As service stations became part of America's drive-in culture, marketers opted for more sophisticated looks. In the mid-1930s, for example, Socal introduced its "streamlined" design, featuring an all-white building, a distinctive U-shaped canopy and liberal use of the company's new "chevron" hallmark.

The stations offered a variety of merchandise - including tires, batteries and accessories such as wiper blades. Proud of its sleek "superstations," the company billed itself as "America's Favorite Service Station System" and began issuing yet another customer amenity: the credit card.

As the Depression eased, some stations became downright opulent. A Gulf outlet built in Miami Beach in 1938 called itself the world's "swankest" service station - a claim few could dispute. Located next to a yacht harbor, the station boasted a lighthouse (emblazoned with the word "Gulf" in 10-foot-high letters), a pier, an enormous cantilevered canopy and an attached hotel, restaurant and bar. It may have been the only gas station ever to offer its own engraved stationery to guests.

Some stations crossed the line from swank to surreal. One of Gulf's outlets was built in the shape of the Spirit of St. Louis, Charles Lindbergh's famous airplane. Other stations (mostly belonging to independent retailers) were built to resemble pyramids, tepees, medieval castles, dinosaurs and Spanish galleons. A Colorado marketer claimed his station was built of petrified wood, and a San Luis Obispo, Calif., station appeared to be hewn from boulders.

1940-1949 Form Follows Function

Although flamboyant stations were eye-catching, most marketers recognized the greater value of a standard, pleasing and easily identifiable look. For Socal and Gulf, the preferred image was clean and efficient. Station buildings - whether of concrete, wood, brick, stucco or enamel-covered masonry - were predominantly white. Aluminum was a common accent, and all-glass fronts were popular. Equipment became more modern too. The classic, tall gasoline pumps with lighted glass domes gradually were replaced with shorter, squarish dispensers more like today's. Some of the newest stations had up to six pumps on two separate "islands" for greater convenience.

Merchandising and services were used to reinforce customer loyalty. Customers could buy Gulfpride motor oil or have their cars "Gulflexed." "Just as America has learned to say Kodak for camera and Frigidaire for electric refrigerator, so shall motorists say Gulflex instead of car lubrication," predicted the Orange Disc, Gulf's stockholder magazine.

Although standardization was the trend, stations of the 1940s still had plenty of visual flair. Throughout the Northeast, Gulf built charming, New England-style stations, complete with steeples and shingled roofs. During World War II, Socal put wings on the "v" in "Chevron" to show support for the war effort. And from the late 1940s through 1955, Socal added a dash of color to many of its stations by depicting the Chevron hallmark in cream, green and burgundy.

1950-1969 Choices, Choices

Postwar prosperity, the baby boom and the spread of suburbia created a multitude of motorists and fierce competition among marketers. The 1950s and early 1960s were the era of "freebies"--free maps, drinking glasses, trading stamps, car washes and more. This also was the heyday of gasoline price wars, and on street corners nationwide, dealers dueled for customers. Once a customer pulled into a Socal station, he or she had decisions to make. "You no longer just ask for a tankful of 'gasoline,'" the Bulletin proudly proclaimed. "Today's fuels are tailored to your engine, your compression ratio and your pocketbook." Chevron gasoline came in three grades, including one with an octane level over 100.

By the late 1960s, stations took on a decidedly "homey" look, with sloping roofs, shingled or brick facades, improved landscaping and, in some cases, ornamental chimneys. This trend was, in part, a response to Lady Bird Johnson's personal appeal to oil companies to help beautify the nation's highways. Socal did its part by redesigning and standardizing the Chevron hallmark in the crisp red, white and blue scheme that's still used.

1970-1979 The Rise of Self-Serve

Although self-service stations had been around since the 1930s, and despite advances that improved self-serve safety and technology, only 6 percent of U.S. stations allowed customers to pump their own fuel in 1974. All of that changed, however, with the gasoline shortages of the next several years. Suddenly, lone lines of cars snaked around service stations. Attendants barely had time to man the pumps - much less check the oil and wipe windshields. Furthermore, with fuel prices rising, customers wanted ways to cut fill-up costs. The answer was self-serve, and by 1978, 68 percent of stations offered it.

Another change was the gradual decline in the number of stations with attached repair shops. Better-built cars, improved warranties and the growing popularity of specialty repair franchises (such as muffler shops) all contributed to this trend.

As customers turned elsewhere for major repairs, Socal and Gulf sought new ways to generate business. A prime source was the on-site convenience store. Selling everything from milk to motor oil, these stores showed how much gasoline retailing had evolved since the days when general stores just happened to sell fuel.

1980-Today Convenience is King

By 1983, the average Socal service station was 25 years old. Modernization was a must, and the company invested hundreds of millions of dollars in a multiyear program to build stations, upgrade old ones and automate pricing, accounting and inventory systems. The company also relied on longer hours and competitive pricing to keep customer appeal high. In 1984, Socal officially changed its name to Chevron Corporation. An event of even greater consequence, however, was the Chevron/Gulf merger of that same year. Through the merger, Chevron inherited more than 3,600 Gulf stations that, over the next six years, were rebranded as Chevron. Many of the rebranded stations now showcase the "Hallmark 21" design, which features a broad blue fascia with grey accents, bold signs and convenient gasoline dispensers with digital readouts.

Today, the operative word is "convenience" at the approximately 8,000 U.S. service stations in 25 states displaying the Chevron hallmark. A customer can pull in, fill up and pay for fuel and a six-pack of soda in five minutes or less. Some of Chevron's busiest stations log as many as 1,400 customer transactions a day and sell up to 400,000 gallons of gas a month.

And efficiency continues to improve. Thanks to easy-to-use self-serve pumps, computerized point-of-sale terminals and a satellite dealer communication network, customers are getting in and out even faster - the better to hit the road and indulge in America's enduring love affair with cars.

S.A. McCall