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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18 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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  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

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  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.

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  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 much 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

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  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

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    • Yes definitely looks like a Teague design. That canopy though… wow. It’s certainly a one off design. there has to be an interesting story behind it. There is a Overstreet and Town designed gas station that was in Louisiana somewhere that i recall having a similar canopy. Wish i could find the photographs now.

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      • I saw this station as I was leaving Pearl Saturday and almost stopped to take a photo and ask the guys working there if they knew anything about it. The canopy with that conical post really caught my eye.

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  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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