I'm a diehard thrifter and garage sale addict! I love the thrill of the hunt! And I love making CASH from trash so I also resell on eBay and Etsy. I share my successes to inspire you ... and my failures so you learn from my mistakes. Please join me on this wild and crazy ride of making cash from trash!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Thrifty Treasures … Last One for 2010

A couple days before Christmas I had to pick up DS#2 from work; but as it turned out, he gave me the wrong time and I ended up with a couple of spare hours before he got off work.  What better way to hang-around than to hit the GW thrift store!  This particular GW is in another county and about an hour’s drive away from me so I’ve only been to it a couple of times over the past few years.

Oh, boy, did they have some great stuff!  They had shelves full of holiday items and were bringing more out while I was there.  My favorite find is the MERRY CHRISTMAS sign.  Originally from Marshall’s, it had it’s original price tag of $24.99 … I paid $6.99 for it and I love it!  I also found the FAMILY  sign for $2.99 and a fantastic grapevine garland for only $3.99.  Not pictured are a 3-piece set of Cinderella Pyrex bowls, a small box of wood block ornaments, and a small Mexican vase.   Not only did I get a senior discount, but also a coupon for 25% off one item on my next visit.

Y’all know what’s next … yes, I went back the following day.  I kept thinking of all the wonderful stuff I put back … and the urge to go back was just too strong!  After dropping off DS#2 at work, I was at the GW right as it opened.  I bought some ornaments for $1.00 each; a baggie of 6 packs of unpainted wooden ornaments for $1.99; a snowman for my tree for $1.00; a candle gift set for $1.99; and some patriotic decorations for $0.99 each that I will use in a wreath for DD (post to follow).

I also bought the white vase with the two birds … there are no markings so I don’t think it’s vintage or of any real value, but I love the design.  My favorite finds on my second day are the vintage figurine of singing nuns from Japan and a set of 3 gold metal wire angels … yup, used my coupon for the angels.  Sorry there are no pictures of these as I packed them away as soon as I got home. 

I’m thrilled with my new thrifty treasures and think it’s a great way to end 2010!  What wonderful treasures have you found? 

And, for the last time in 2010, I am linking up to the following.  Be sure to check them out for more great thrifty treasures!

Thrifty Thursday @ Bloggervitaville

Junkin’ Finds Friday @ A La Carte

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thrifty Christmas Treasures

I don’t have a whole lot to share, as I haven’t been out thrifting or saling this week.  However, I would like to share a few thrifty Christmas items I’ve purchased over the past few months.

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I purchased the four Hallmark ornaments pictured above at the GW several months ago.  These are all brand new and are perfect for my Gkids.  I think they were each $1.99.

These two owl ornaments are vintage and were $1.99 each – perfect for my owl collection! 

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And these two were bought at garage sales for about $1.00 each.  I have a small collection of mini sewing ornaments, and these are perfect.  Thrift stores and garage sales are excellent sources for buying Hallmark ornaments!  I snatch them up when I see them ...

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How many of us have been fixtures at the Dollar Tree lately?  Count me as one!  I made several trips over the past few weeks.  During one trip, I was already at the cashier when I overheard her telling another customer that they’d just found a big box of cards and had just brought them out.  They were all Disney and selling for $0.50 a box!  I think each box contains 10 cards so I grabbed one of each design … $3.00 total.  Score!

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And last but not least … I’ve been admiring the mirror trees that some folks have used for their holiday décor … they are so pretty and elegant!  Well, most of my holiday decorations fit well with the traditional red & green colors; and as much as I love the elegant look of the white and silver, there is no way I can afford to change my décor – although I think I read one blogger bought her mirror trees at the $ Tree.  Good score! 

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Anyway, last week I saw these mini mirror trees at Michael’s on clearance for $1.99 each.  They are actually photo holders and I grabbed the last three.  They’re only about 3 inches high, but I love them! 


Once again, am linking up to the following.  Hope you take a few minutes to visit … more great stuff to see!

Thrifty Thursday @ Bloggervitaville

Junkin’ Finds Friday @ A La Carte

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #14 LAUREL BURCH Women of Colour Mug Cup 1993

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Starting Bid: $1.99 Winning Bid: $11.49
Paid: $0.99 From: Goodwill
Ended: 07/21/08 Winner:  CA

I am still intrigued that a used item such as the lowly mug ~ an “everyday” item ~ can sell for a decent amount.  I used to pass up mugs until I saw how much they were selling online (not just eBay).  The best example is the Windows 95 mug I wrote about here.  Now I’m always on the look out for unique and interesting mugs.

This mug is designed by Laurel Burch, an American artist from California.  I am familiar with Laurel Burch designs because of my quilting hobby; her fabric designs are highly prized by quilters.  This mug’s design caught my eye and I suspected it might be a Laurel Burch design.  The signature on the side confirmed that it was.  Laurel’s most popular designs are her colorful felines, but this mug was different so I hoped it would be a good seller … and it was, selling for more than 11 times what I paid.

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History:  Laurel Anne Harte was born in the San Fernando Valley of California on Dec. 31, 1945. She grew up in a broken home and left home at 14 with only a paper bag of clothing.  At the age of 19, she married a jazz musician, Robert Burch, and was the divorced mother of two by the time she was 20.

In the late 1960s, as a 20-year-old single mother, she found metal in junkyards to hammer into jewelry to support her two children.  She began selling her jewelry from tackle boxes on the streets of San Francisco. Some local stores began stocking her creations, and a businessman, Shashi Singapuri, took samples of her work to China. In 1971, she went to China and discovered cloisonné, a kind of enamel work, with which she designed paintings and had the designs made into earrings.

In 1979 she split with Singapuri, and started Laurel Burch Inc.  In the 1990s she licensed her designs to a dozen or so companies that now make and distribute her creations worldwide. Burch designed, among other things, beads, jewelry, paintings, T-shirts, scarves, coffee mugs and tote bags, but 90% of her designs derived from her original paintings.

She died on September 13, 2007, at age 61, from complications of osteoporosis, a painful bone disease she had her entire life.

(For more info: Laurel Burch Obituary NY Times; Laurel Burch Artworks)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Weekly Thrifty Treasures

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I found some great treasures at the thrift stores this past week!  Look at this awesome white stoneware tureen from a California pottery that I found at the Goodwill for only $4.00!  It was originally priced at $7.99, but was half-off the day I was there.  It’s beautiful and in perfect condition, although it’s missing the ladle.

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I also found this great pair of candle holders for $1.99 each and added a $1.00 candle.  Melissa @ 320*Sycamore posted about her Dollar Tree hurricanes which are inexpensive and easy to make.  And the two reindeer were $2.99 each. (BTW, the brass stocking holders were GW finds a few years ago.)

DSC02885I saw this cute holiday duck in a display window so I’m thinking of running over to the $ Tree to pick up some ribbon, bells and trim to spruce up the reindeer … any excuse to go to the $ Tree!!

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I also found this great brand-new candle warmer with the snowman for $3.00 (off-half).  It’ll replace this one for the holidays, which I also bought at the TS a couple years ago.  I love these candle warmers … they make the rooms smell wonderful!

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This one is out year-round and sits on this vintage dresser in my formal dining room.  It was great for the fall, but the new snowman warmer is much better for Christmas.

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BTW, I bought this vintage dresser AND mirror last year at a church rummage sale for only $15.00! What a deal!


Now for the fantastic deals I found at the Salvation Army this past Friday!  Every first and third Fridays of the month, the SAs in my area have everything in the store at 50% off.  (That’s normally the only time I shop at the SA.)  And this past Friday, everything that was Christmas was 75% off!  I bought 20 items, and my total for everything was $22.56 … that’s less than $1.13 per item!

Can you believe I bought all these quilts and wall hangings at the thrift store?  How sad is that?  I just knew I had to rescue them.

DSC02858Price $6.00 = Paid $3.00

DSC02866Price $5.00 = Paid $2.50

DSC02859Price $15.00 = Paid $0

DSC02864Price $10.00 = Paid $0

DSC02891Price $6.00 = Paid $3.00

I paid a total of $8.50 for all 5 quilts … unbelievable!  The quilt top is shown on a queen size bed … I would have paid the $22.56 for that alone.  It is made with vintage fabrics.  It may not be perfect, but someone put a lot of effort into it.

This Nativity Set originally sold in 2000 for $24.95 at Rite-Aid.  The original receipt was still in the box and someone bought it on sale for $12.50.  The figurines are made of resin and it’s your common dime-store quality, but the price was right.

DSC02868Price $6.95 = Paid $1.74

Six boxes of 25 C-9 Christmas light bulbs.  They’re made in the Republic of China so I’m sure they’re not vintage and not quality.

DSC02867Price $2.35/box ($14.10) = Paid $0.59/box ($3.54)

But the price was right, and they’d be perfect for making this:

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You have got to check out the awesome wreaths by Suzy at The Wreath Blog or Georgiapeachez.

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Some vintage books for $0.50 each to make some of these:

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Wreaths made from old book pages.  These are inexpensive and easy to make; and look great!  You’ll find several tutorials by doing a Google search.

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Lidded glass jar $5.75 = Paid $2.88

Baby buggy planter $3.55 = Paid $1.78

Christmas Nikko dinner bell $5.75 = Paid $1.44 (no pic)

Ty Snowman $2.35 = Paid $0.59

Cookie cutters $2.35 = Paid $0.59

The little TY Snowman is perfect as an ornament for my Snowman Christmas Tree:

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Isn’t this collection of baby planters adorable?  From Betty@MyMinkBetty.  I already have two that I received so this baby buggy will make three … ahhh, the start of a new collection!

And the cookie cutters will be used to make these easy and fun ornaments.  From Kate@CentsationalGirl.

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This cute little rooster was another freebie.  Not sure what I’m going to do with him, but I thought he was too cute to pass up!

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I think I found some pretty good deals this past Friday at the SA, but it was a mad house.  The crowds were as bad as Black Friday!  The poor clerks were so overwhelmed that I’m sure they made mistakes.  When I got home and compared my receipt with the items I bought, I realized they did not charge me for a couple of items.  I hate feeling guilty about things like this so I made a donation to my friendly SA bell ringer at Stater Bros.  Feel so much better!


Linking up to the following.  Hope you take a few minutes to visit … there’s some great stuff to see!

Flea Market Finds @ Her Library Adventures

Penny Worthy Project @ Hey What’s For Dinner Mom

Thrift Share Monday @ Apron Thrift Girl

Second Time Around @ A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words

Twice Owned Tuesday @ House of Grace

Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays @ Coastal Charm

Thrifty Thursday @ Bloggervitaville

Junkin’ Finds Friday @ A La Carte

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #13 Broguieres Glass Milk Bottle

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Item #13: Broguieres 1 Qt Glass Fresh Milk Bottle, Montebello, CA 

Starting Bid: $1.99 Winning Bids: $9.50-$10.50
Paid: $0 From: Neighborhood market
Ended: 06/22/08 Winners: MA, NY

These are actual fresh milk bottles that I purchased from a neighborhood market when I worked in San Gabriel, CA.  Of course, they were not empty when I bought them!

A co-worker had been buying this milk for years; and sometimes when he’d make a run to the market, I would ask him to pick up a couple of bottles for me.  The milk is so delicious!  They also have the best chocolate milk.  And, during the holidays, you can buy eggnog in bottles with holiday designs. One of the bottles I sold is from Christmas 2000.

I returned most of the bottles, but kept these two.  I didn’t think there was much value in them because they are not vintage … well, at least at the time, they were not vintage.  A couple years ago, I saw that a bottle from this particular dairy sold for more than a few pennies.  I thought it’d be interesting to see what these two bottles would sell for … after all, they didn’t really cost me anything.  They sold for about $10 each … and to think I’d been returning these.

History: During the 1950s, more than 100 dairies in Southern California sold their milk in glass bottles. Now, that distinction belongs only to Broguiere's Farm Fresh Dairy in Montebello (CA).  Broguiere's has been in business since 1920 – that’s 90 years! – and is the last in the Southland to use glass bottles.  

Ernest Broguiere, a French immigrant from the Alps, began the dairy by purchasing a lemon grove on Maple Avenue, where the dairy's drive-thru milk stand still exists. When the lemon business failed to take off, Ernest bought a Holstein cow and several hundred glass bottles and started selling milk. With his horse-drawn wagon painted with the dairy logo, he delivered milk to doorsteps, and his business expanded.  At one time, the dairy had up to 150 cows producing milk on its 5-acre farm.

In 1965, Ernest's son, Ray Broguiere Sr., took over the business and made a few changes, including the painful decision to get rid of the cows.  And, in 1975, Ray Broguiere Jr.  took over for his father and is the dairy’s current owner and president.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #12 Spode Blue Room Covered Ginger Jar

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Starting Bid: $9.99 Winning Bid: $45.97
Paid: $4.00 From: Thrift Store
Ended: 06/15/08 Winner: Minden, LA

In a previous post, I wrote about an estate sale where DH found a box of vintage yearbooks.  That find netted us close to $300! 

After leaving that estate sale, we stopped at a small community thrift store.  I was not really finding much, but after a few moments DH approached me holding this yellow & blue jar.  I became excited when I saw that it was made by SPODE.  Did I not say DH has a good eye?  Even though it was priced at $4.00, more than what I normally like to pay, it came home with me. 

I knew Spode was a good brand, but I am not an expert and was not sure how desirable this jar was.  I started the bid at $9.99 to cover my investment and was thrilled when it sold for over $45 … more than 11 times what I’d paid!  Thank you, DH!

History:  Pottery has been manufactured at the Spode Church Street site since around 1750; and as early as 1762, the Spode family worked in pottery in Staffordshire.

Josiah Spode worked in a number of partnerships before going into business for himself in the town of Stoke-upon-Trent in 1767; and in 1776 he completed the purchase of what became the current Spode factory.  He is credited with producing what has been described as the single most significant development in the history of his industry – the perfection of the formula for fine bone china. 

The business was carried on through his sons at Stoke until April 1833 and were succeeded in the same business by Copeland and Garrett.  The partnership continued until 1847.

After 1847 the business continued as W.T. Copeland and Sons until 1970. After 1970, the same factories and business continued under the name 'Spode Ltd'; and in 2006, the business merged with Royal Worcester. However, the merged company entered administration in November 2008.

In April 2009 Portmeirion Pottery purchased the Royal Worcester and Spode brands, together with some of the stock, after their parent company was placed into administration the previous November. The purchase does not include Royal Worcester and Spode's manufacturing facilities. 

(For more info: http://www.thepotteries.org/potters/spode.htm or
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spode)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #11 High School Yearbooks

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Item #11: Alhambra  High School Yearbooks (Bob Givens) and Monrovia High School Yearbook (Leslie Van Houten)

Starting Bid: $19.99 Winning Bids: $48.99-$49.99
Paid: $2.00 each From: Estate Sale
Ended: 06/15/08 Winners: CA & Washington

It’s always more fun to go garage saling with a friend; and when DH isn’t working, he will usually accompany me on my adventures.  It’s always better to have two sets of eyes … and he has a good eye. 

A couple years back, we went to an estate sale where he found a box of vintage high school yearbooks.  No one else was remotely interested in them; and, honestly, neither was I, but he thought they were interesting and maybe had some historical value.  There were 12 books and the seller wanted $2/book.  It just about killed me to pay $24!

Once home, I did some online research and discovered there is a whole community of folks who collect yearbooks … and many sell for a lot of money! I quickly listed all 12 books at auction with starting bids of between $9.99 and $19.99 each.  Eight yearbooks sold at auction; the 4 that didn’t sell were relisted in my eBay store and eventually sold.  That $24 investment turned into almost $300 in sales!! Thank you, DH!

The three that sold for the most are two from Alhambra High School (1936 & 1937) and one from Monrovia High School (1967).   The 1936 YB had some beautiful full-color artwork; and the 1937 YB had the legendary animator, cartoon designer and layout artist Bob Givens of Disney fame with some early cartoon drawings.

It’s the 1967 Monrovia YB that had the most infamous celebrity in its alumni.  Unfortunately, when I listed the book, I had no idea and my DH failed to mention it!  That infamous person was Leslie Van Houten, one of the Charles Manson followers, and currently in prison for murder.  I’m sure the book would have sold for much more had I mentioned this in my listing.  It wasn’t until the listing ended that someone emailed to ask if Leslie Van Houten was in the YB … too late for me to find out that yes, indeed, she was!

I still look for yearbooks when I’m out and about, but I’ve yet to find another mother lode like this one … so the search continues!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #10 Vintage Vogue Ginnette Doll Bed Crib

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Starting Bid: $6.99 Winning Bid: $31.00
Paid: $1.99 From: Goodwill
Ended: 06/15/08 Winner:  CA

When I first saw this Baby Ginnette Doll crib, I passed it up because it was in very used condition.  But the more I thought about it, the more I knew I should go back to grab it … after all, it was only $1.99.   Luckily, it was still there.

After bringing it home, I began to have second thoughts about listing it.  For a few minutes, I even had visions of repainting it, decorating it with decals, and then selling it.  But that just seemed like too much work, and in the end I listed it as is.  Good thing I did because I think it’s real value was in the name “Ginnette” with the original designs. 

Little did I know at the time that the crib was about 50 years old and in relative good condition for the secondary market.  I would have been happy if it’d sold for $10, but it ended up selling for $31.00 … more than 15 times what I paid … even without its original bedding! I can only imagine what it’s worth in mint condition.

History:  "Ginnette" was made by the Vogue Doll Company between 1955-1969;  and was introduced as the baby sister of the very popular Ginny Doll.  She was an 8” drink-wet doll, and some of her outfits even matched sister Ginny's.

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Ginny’s roots go back to 1922, when Jennie Adler Graves established Ye Olde Vogue Doll Shoppe in her home in Massachusetts, and began dressing and selling imported German dolls to a well-known Boston department store.

Success followed success until 1948, when Mrs. Graves introduced an 8" plastic doll, the forerunner to Ginny. Storeowners and consumers alike loved the new doll; and in 1951, Ginny was officially born, named after Jennie's daughter Virginia.  By 1957, Ginny had reached over five million dollars per year in sales.

Mrs. Graves retired in 1960, and her daughter Virginia and son in law Edwin Nelson continued to lead the Vogue Doll company until Virginia's retirement in 1966. The company was then run entirely by Mr. Nelson until 1972 when he retired and the Vogue name was sold to Tonka Corporation.

Between 1972 and 1995 Ginny had a succession of owners.  But in 1995 Ginny was once again reunited with The Vogue Doll Company name.  (For more information go to www.voguedolls.com)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #9 Vintage Regal China Quaker Oats Cookie Jar

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Starting Bid: $12.99 Winning Bid: $12.99
Paid: $3.99 From:  Goodwill
Ended: 06/15/08 Winner: Idaho

I could kick myself for selling this cookie jar (I think I’ve said that before)!  I wish I still had this one as I have not been able to find another one for the past couple of years.  I paid only $3.99 for this great item, and some lucky bidder in Idaho now has a nice addition to their collection for a great price.  Estimated value of this cookie jar is now between $40.-$60. and up to $90.  This is the one that got away!

History:   In the late seventies a new promotion for Quaker Oats appeared. "It's the Quaker Man's Happy Birthday Cookie Jar".  The ad reads in part, "It was 100 years ago that our old fashioned man became the trademark of the Quaker Oats Company. . . . An authentic replica of the Old Fashioned Quaker Oats package recreated in high quality dishwasher-safe porcelain by Regal China".

  • Mail-in Premium
  • Available in 1977
  • Height: 9-3/4"
  • Issue price: $6.95
  • Price Estimates: From $40.-$60. up to $90.

I have a small collection of cookie jars that I’ve purchased during the past few years from thrift stores.  I used to be able to pick them up for about $3-$4.  Recently, the prices have gone up and they are now selling for about $6-$8 … still a good deal for a nice cookie jar.  I think I’ll be keeping any cookie jar treasures I find!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #8 Vintage Shell Oil Service Attendant Cap

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Starting Bid: $9.99 Winning Bid: $18.58
Paid: $0 From:  Free
Ended: 06/08/08 Winner:  N/A

Do some of you remember when gas stations were full-service … and self-service was rare if non-existent?  You drove up to the pump, and a service station attendant would pump gas for you, wash your windows and check your oil.  He would take your money or credit card, go to his cash register and return with your receipt.  No need to ever get out of your car.  Wow, did service like that really exist or was it all a dream?! 

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Yup, it was real … and as recent as the 1990’s, you could still choose full-service or self-service.  I think for as much as we pay for gas today ($3.00-$3.15/gallon in my area), they should not only check the oil and wash the windows, they should wash the whole car!!  We now pay more and get less.

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Anyway, I got this really neat Shell Oil Service Attendant Cap for free when I volunteered to help a disabled, widowed & elderly gentleman clean out his garage.  Actually, there was a group of volunteers who not only cleaned out his garage, but also painted his house and weeded/trimmed his yards.  His garage was jam-packed with stuff, and he wanted to get rid of everything. 

Unfortunately, 99% of it was damaged & worthless, and ended up in the trash dumpster.  We did manage to salvage a few items, and he said we could have whatever we wanted.  One of the items I salvaged was this neat cap.  Surprisingly, it was in very good condition; I don’t think it was ever used.  What a great piece of nostalgia and memento of days when customer service was so important.

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History of Gasoline: When cars were first invented, gas stations weren’t around yet. People actually bought their gasoline at the general store. They filled their own buckets with gasoline and used a funnel to pour it into the car’s gas tank.

As more and more companies got into the business of making gasoline, stations began to appear. Some of them were just a single gas pump right alongside the curb with an attendant ready to help when you drove up.

In the 1920s stations got fancier with new pumps. It took a long 8 minutes to fill the small 5-gallon car tanks that were common in those days. While the tank was filling up, the gas station attendant wiped the windshield, checked the oil and water for you, and if necessary, cranked the engine to get it started again.

By the 1950s pumps were more efficient and could fill the larger 14-gallon gas tanks quickly.  Gas attendants could work part time and it was a great job for high school boys.

When a gas shortage caused prices to go up in the 1970s, customers wanted the best price they could find. To keep prices down, gas stations changed over to self-serve and gas attendants eventually became a thing of the past.  (For more information: go to Chevroncars.com)