Friday is a Gas: Teague & The Icebox

Gas Station.  McComb, Mississippi.

While Teague and icebox might sound like the title of a terrible buddy cop TV show, the Teague and icebox designs of gas stations are some of the most recognizable service station designs from the late 1930s through the 1950s.  Think of a gleaming while porcelain building as the background for the bright red “pop” of a Texaco star.  That’s what industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague envisioned when he came up with the station design that would bear his name for the The Texas Company (Texaco).

Greenville Teague Station

Teague style station Texaco Station in Greenville, Mississippi.

As this Texaco “Teague” station grew in popularity, many other gas station chains adopted porcelain enamel panels, or a less expensive concrete finish that gave these stations the appearance of an “icebox” similar to the Teague design.  Stations were also expanding services to include more sophisticated automotive repair that necessitated the addition of services bays that are lacking from earlier stations. Compare the picture at the top of the post, a former Texaco station in McComb, to the Gulf Oil service stations we saw two weeks ago.

“icebox” style Service Station Gloster, Miss. Original brand affiliation unknown, possibly a former Sinclair station

According to the 2016 TxDOT Field Guide to Gas Stations in Texas, there are several variations of Teague stations but the “icebox” style appears to be the one most mimicked by competitors.  The field guide described the identifying features of this Streamlined Moderne-style Texaco station as: an oblong box with (gas pump) island and two service bays, flat roof, white porcelain enamel steel panels (rarely stucco or wood), three green bands around the building above the display and service bay doors, large metal windows that open to the office/showroom, and service areas.

This Matawan style Texaco Station in Jackson Mississippi began life as a Teague style station.

Like any building these service stations changed over time receiving a different paint scheme, such as the example above, was a popular change.  The North State Street Texaco station in seen in the The Matawan Texacos of Mississippi post likely began its life as a “Teague” station before getting the corporate appearance package update to a “Matawan” station in the late 1960’s.

Do you know of a Teague Texaco station, or an imitator icebox in your neck of the woods?  If so let us know!



Categories: Architectural Research, Cool Old Places, Greenville, Historic Preservation, Jackson

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32 replies

  1. The Georgia Avenue Texaco Service Station, McComb, handled the business for Scott’s Texaco while they were building their “new, modern Texaco” built October 1950 and pictured above.

    Bell’s Texas on Fulton and Church, Greenwood is still extant also.

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    • That’s an interesting station, with three bays rather than two. They must have been doing alot of business.

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    • A bing maps aerial view gives an understanding of all the service bays. it looks like the left most storefront/picture window was originally a service bay, and the two left most bays were an addition.

      https://binged.it/2t2QuyT

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    • The Texaco Station pictured above (Georgia Ave) was operated by my Grandfather, Bill Scott for approximately 25 years. He sold the station in 1969 retiring from Texaco after 33 years. The original station had a awning, one pump island, and three service bays. Far left was tire service, middle bay was wash bay, and far right bay was lubrication. The building addition was added many years after the station was closed and no longer sold “Service with a Smile”. It became a window tint and alarm installation garage, car detailing shop, and later a full-up garage with the addition being added. The office area is original with a store room, restrooms, and compressor/lubrication drum storage to the rear of the office. The other Texaco station located downtown was owned by my Grandfather and two of his brothers, (Scott Brothers Texaco). He bought them out and later sold the station to operate the Georgia Ave station, which was owned by his brother-in-law Winton Williams. Winton owned the McComb Ms Texaco Bulk Plant, several Texaco stations (approx 14) located throughout the tri county area, and a Chrysler Dealership, all now defunct. Lots of history to remember, being a favorite 8-year old grandchild working for my Granddaddy during the summer of 1968 pumping gas and cleaning windshields. We will miss you Mr. Bill as they used to refer to him by. Wiliam D. Scott, Grandson

      Liked by 2 people

  2. There’s a gas station outside Dockery Farms on Highway 8 in Sunflower County which I think fits your description. It’s pictured on this webpage…
    http://www.mississippibluestravellers.com/dockery-farms-birthplace-of-the-blues-highway-8-sunflower-county-mississippi/

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  3. I think what’s now a convenience store on the corner of west 6th Street and Mason Dr. (10th Ave) in Laurel must have been one of these. I spent many an hour there as a boy in the late 50’s and early 60’s with my grandfather as a greasemonkey in training. The service bays have been enclosed since then and there was no awning. So long ago now I can’t remember what brand station it was, but a Mr. Pruitt owned it. I can’t seem to figure out how to post a picture here, so I’ll try the Google link.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Stinson's+BP+Mini+Mart/@31.695684,-89.1383908,3a,60y,173.27h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0m1elRR7YsQtT6uQlc9W3g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x8883343d08800da3:0xa2d76177ff09bbf2!2sLaurel,+MS!3b1!8m2!3d31.6940509!4d-89.1306124!3m4!1s0x0:0xbea7a52b5d3ebcb3!8m2!3d31.695607!4d-89.1383886

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting. It certainly looks like it began its life as an ‘icebox”. I believe the Texaco stations usually had the entry door incorporated into the opening with the storefront/picture window. I’ve seen several stations where the door is a distinct separate opening from the storefront/picture window, but i’m not sure if that’s indicative of a specific corporate plan or not.

      Here’s the streetview image.

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  4. Wish I knew how to post a pic in here….Will have to just give the link. My grandparents had this building as a gas station in the 70s. It’s in Columbus, right across from the courthouse.

    https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g43732-d4944748-r373870518-Zachary_s-Columbus_Mississippi.html#photos;geo=43732&detail=4944748

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There may have been one of these gasoline stations in Vicksburg at about 4000 south Washington Street. It was used as a low-budget apartment for at least a decade and demolished in the late-1990s. The lot is now empty.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was about to post this one on the north side of Canton on Highway 51, but now I see it’s a virtual twin to the ones MSGypsy and Kodachromguy posted, so must have been a Pan Am too? Inquiring minds want to know when is the PanAm post coming out??

    https://www.google.com/maps/@32.6247331,-90.0325969,3a,49.5y,133.76h,95.48t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sbEUjF-0c8TBZWvUDRZ7MQQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Former gas station which is now a detail shop at corner of U.S. Hwy 80 and Old Brandon Road AND Old Flowood Drive in Flowood/Pearl, Mississippi area. Note the conical awning post. Does this link work? https://www.google.com/maps/@32.2787194,-90.1467351,3a,60y,50.19h,88.12t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sc6-ZyBm90JnqrnVke8w5Iw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am fortune to live in the Southern California desert where the I-40 and I-15 replaced the former US66. Several small towns still exist on those old portions of 66, the populations have all but fizzled away. Leaving behind abandoned filling stations frozen in time.

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    • Yes this is a Teague design, slightly different from the straight up icebox the TxDOT guide refers to as a Teague type A. The Fondren station retains an original canopy & the TxDOT guide refers to it as a Teague Type C design.

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  9. Is this a Teague or Icebox? On corner of Robinson Road and Capitol St. in West. Jackson, Mississippi. Are those pipes up the side of the building for venting the gasoline tanks or the water plumbing system? https://www.google.com/maps/@32.306561,-90.2007262,3a,60y,341.71h,88.61t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1stCUK-GGBW8oQdeHUtdvSHA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

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    • It’s definitely Icebox-esque with those enameled panels. This station lacks the clear oblong box footprint of the Icebox designs. What a unique station though, certainly designed in response to its site. Looking at the sanborn maps it looks like part of this station has been demolished, adding to the unique footprint.

      I’m not sure about the purpose of those pipes. Good question.

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  10. I came across this in one of my mid-century Facebook groups today and thought it might be interesting to this bunch. I hadn’t thought about dedicated furniture for gas stations, but here we are: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Walter-Dorwin-Teague-Desk-for-Texaco-Stations-Use-It-Rat-Rod-Style-or-Restore-/222686551104?roken=cUgayN

    Liked by 2 people

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