The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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“Last stop for gas” spake the feckless quisling.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

For some reason, NYC’s Gasoline Filling Stations keep on catching my eye, but I think they’re supposed to do that. Probably, this interest has a lot to do with all the history posts about the Petrochemical industry along Newtown Creek, but it just might be something as simple as the usage of bright primary colors used in their trade dressings as I am simple and foolish. The one above is in Maspeth, at a location which is neither tick or tock but is instead found between them.

from wikipedia

A filling station, fuelling station, garage, gasbar (Canada), gas station (United States and Canada), petrol bunk or petrol pump (India), petrol garage, petrol station (Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and United Kingdom), service station (Australia, United Kingdom and United States), or servo (Australia), is a facility which sells fuel and usually lubricants for motor vehicles. The most common fuels sold today are gasoline (gasoline or gas in the U.S. and Canada, typically petrol elsewhere), diesel fuel, and electric energy. Filling stations that sell only electric energy are also known as charging stations.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Worry about imaginary Police reports, ones which describe a suspicious middle aged man that has been taking photos of fuel stations in Queens, have crossed my mind. So much so that the last time I had the ear of my local City Councilman – my paranoid imaginings were mentioned. He promised me that he wouldn’t let them take me to Guantanamo Bay, but couldn’t offer any specific guarantees about Rikers. Either way, the elected fellow promised to ensure that I got extra cookies with my dinner, should I end up in either institution.

from wikipedia

Gasoline /ˈɡæsəliːn/, or petrol /ˈpɛtrəl/, is a transparent, petroleum-derived liquid that is used primarily as a fuel in internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives. Some gasolines also contain ethanol as an alternative fuel. In North America, the term gasoline is often shortened in colloquial usage to gas. Elsewhere petrol is the common name in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia and in most of the other Commonwealth countries.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Most of the pumps I see are the modern kind, dressed with digital payment terminals and all sorts of fancy kit. One suspects that there’s probably more computing power in a modern gas pump than would have been found in a high end desktop pc from just ten years ago. I’ve actually seen the old timey style pumps still at work in certain quaint hamlets in the backwoods of Vermont and Massachusetts as well as standing extant in the vast archaea of Crete.

from wikipedia

The first gasoline pump was invented and sold by Sylvanus F. Bowser in Fort Wayne, Indiana on September 5, 1885. This pump was not used for automobiles, as they had not been invented yet. It was instead used for some kerosene lamps and stoves. He later improved upon the pump by adding safety measures, and also by adding a hose to directly dispense fuel into automobiles.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 15, 2014 at 7:30 am

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