From the second decade of the century onward the American filling station underwent an evolution which, in a single decade, would transform it into the service station proper.
To the simple dispensing of fuel was added the checking of oil, water, and tire pressure, the installation of new filters, spark plugs and batteries, the car wash, the lube job, and other services still.
At the same time there evolved a concern for the customer, now provided with refreshments, a waiting room, and lavatory services.
This didn’t begin in Europe until a decade later, but even if the true service station was rare, most of the establishments that sold gasoline were able to provide the more important supplementary services.
This explosion of new commodities for the motorist did not come from the generosity of the vendors: the natural course of things imposed itself on them.
As long as the system was limited to the single sidewalk pump in front of the store, the sale of gasoline remained only a part of the store’s activity, a relative benefit that was more than satisfactory.