Photo of two antique gas pumps, one for Ethyl and one for Regular, in St. Paul, Nebraska

Weekly Gem #43 Ethyl receives Regular visits by a 57 Chevy

Published 10/17/2015

Location:  This 'hidden gem' is in the middle of downtown St. Paul, Nebraska (see Clue Me! beta map ).  It's a great example of a gem that most people would enjoy, that would take only a few minutes to see and appreciate, and that 99 times out of 100 people completely overlook.  But if you're driving through St. Paul, it's just one block off main street, and about a 1 minute detour if you're driving through on 281.  So stop by for a look, and maybe a trip down memory lane.

You will probably notice the Ethyl pump, and maybe wonder why we don't see that type of gasoline anymore.  The reason is that it wasn't named after great aunt Ethyl, but was shorthand for tetraethyllead, an additive that kept engines from knocking.  When lead was phased out as a gasoline additive, this particular Ethyl became a relic from the past.  


Ethyl receives Regular visits by a 57 Chevy


A couple of antique gas pumps, one for Ethyl and one for Regular

Why It's Interesting

Back when this was operational, no doubt there was a full service fill up, with the guy filling the tank, and in the meantime washing the windows, maybe checking the oil. Since the pumps are still in their original spots and the old service station is still there, it's the sort of thing that can take people back, remind them of Saturday nights when people chatted face to face instead of electronically. Or if you're younger than 40, you might wonder, 'what's a service station?'


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