I like Whiting Bros.
That should be rather obvious, given the fact that I have been taking photos of their remains for decades, only a fraction of which appear here.
Why? Well, to a kid in the backseat of a speeding Ford during summer vacations along US Highway 66 in the 1960s, Whiting Bros. was one of the top visual icons, along with Snortin' Norton of Campbell 66 Express, the Jackrabbit Trading Post signs, Bowlin's Running Indian and the Club Café Fat Man.
All of these have in common that repeated roadside presence that made me strain my eyes trying to spot the next one in line. Billboard broadsides, or the broadsides of a semi-trailer, these iconic graphics caught my young imagination.
And nobody on 66 had billboards broader than Whiting Bros. Their long and low yellow, red and black wooden banners decorated the road like carnival pennants, waving in the heat mirages while announcing the next advent of a Whiting Bros. station and "Gas For Less." I know we stopped at Whiting Bros. during our trips. Dad, he said he liked the fact he could save a few cents with their courtesy cards. Unfortunately, I don't have a clear recollection of filling up under the red and yellow striped canopy. But I do remember those long signs.
Fast forward to the early 1980s when I rediscovered old 66 on a trip out west with Dad. I shot my first Whiting Bros. station in Shamrock, Texas, in 1981 and have not stopped since. I had hoped to photograph each surviving location or ruin back then. But I may have ignored the Sanders location for some odd reason (I have since remedied that) and I am still looking for a few old prints or Kodachromes to fill in a few more locales (such as Amarillo). But in this collection of my Whiting Bros photos, I'd like to share the sense of discovery that filled me with every snap of the shutter.
- Jerry McClanahan
Click on any town with a red dot to link to my photograph of that Whiting Brothers gas station.
I want everyone to enjoy this gallery of my photographs. People have commented that they consider my photographs to be a valuable historical record of roadside architecture and commerce during the last of the halcyon years of commissioned US Highway 66. Every photograph presented here is copyrighted by me and the webmaster has suggested that the following fine-print legalese about their usage be included on this web page:
All of the photographic images presented here are copyrighted by Jerry McClanahan. The resolution of the images is appropriate for casual use and in smaller image sizes. Higher resolution images suitable for finer quality and larger images may be available by contacting Mr. McClanahan directly.
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