In previous Foto Friday posts we’ve noted how, as much as things change, they often remain the same. In the 70s we saw a gas crunch with sky rocketing gas prices, today the high cost of gas is a common conversation between neighbors. Take a look at the photo below depicting the long lines that ensured due to gas rationing:
Photograph courtesy of the Arcadia History Collection, Arcadia Public Library.
During the Iranian Revolution, Iran had ceased its export of oil. As a result, the world went into a panic over this energy crisis and gas prices skyrocketed in the late 1970s. Long lines and rationing became a part of daily life. Lines of cars snaked through residential streets as motorists would wait hours for a turn at the pump. Many areas in California distributed gas on an odd-even allocation system whereby the motorist’s license plate number determined which day he or she could buy gas.
Similar long lines formed at gas stations during 1974 when Arab oil-producing nations imposed an oil embargo on the United States after the outbreak of the Arab-Israeli War. On the brighter side of having to pay $3 per gallon in 2005, we are fortunate that, at least, today’s lines are short.
In this 1979 photograph, a long line of customers forms to buy gasoline at a Mobil service station in Arcadia. The first four cars in line are brand new 1979 Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Chevette, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, and Chevrolet Camaro.