Twenty-Six Hundred Petrol Stations
In the US, from Edward Hopper to Ed Ruscha, gas stations are cultural icons. In Britain, it's never been quite the same. But numbers of petrol stations have declined enormously over the past thirty years, primarily the smaller garages, often rural, and with that we have lost a vast amount of heritage and roadside interest, quite apart from the service they provided to communities. When they're gone, we'll miss them, although if we are serious about dealing with the climate crisis, we are going to have to work out a way to live very differently.

I've been photographing petrol stations and petrol pumps, particularly the logos and branding, since I was young. From a design point of view it fascinates me how much creativity has gone into trying to sell what has most been a fairly homogeneous product.

Really, as someone working for various design schools, I ought to have done something more with these. But in a way, I quite like them as they are.

Most of the original photos are my own, though a few have been very kindly contributed by others. I also have some more to add, when I find them again! I have also more recently started adding a lot more ephemera such as brochures, receipts, and magazine articles.

My first big task is to go through and name and tag all my own photos, with location as far as possible, and re-order / group them. I started this in 2015 but life got in the way; I've started again, doing one per day, in late 2019 and posting each to Twitter as I do it.
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