Wednesday, July 05, 2006
WRENCH WARFARE IN 1914 GAS PRICE BATTLE
July 5, 1914: Competition was fierce at Los Angeles' gas stations as gas prices dropped below 19 cents per gallon and station owners scrambled for customers, The Times reported. "Gasolinitis, as it is sometimes called, because the peddling of the product is more like a disease than a business — has its queer clinical aspects," the newspaper said. "The other day it broke out in a near riot close to the corner of Pico and Figueroa, when two garage proprietors, at stations similar to the one pictured above, literally 'mixed it' in a fiery battle with monkey-wrenches. The two have their gas tanks close together and the last of their frantic races to the motor-side of a prospective customer ended with blows." Remember when the gas station attendant actually came to the driver's window to offer to fill your tank, plus clean your windows and check your radiator ???