'The Service Station' is a weird explainer for … service stations

Educational films are a staple of American culture: they’ve shown you the horrors of the highway, not to “shake hands with danger,” and have given comedians easy fodder for parody. With the vacuum of time, most educational videos look like campy executions of half-baked ideas but probably made sense at the time. However, a 1957 release called “The Service Station” makes little sense, even given the era.

Yes. There’s an educational video showing you how to use the features of a full-service gas station, made at the end of the 1950s. If this film were made a decade earlier, it would make more sense. Oddly, that isn’t the case

This oddity also shows some terrible ways to, well, run a service station. Hopefully, no one used this film as a training video: if they did, they likely suffered serious burns from the violent eruption of steam coming from the radiator. 

It’s not to say that this educational film is worthless: it shows how a service station operated in the late 1950s, which is cool in its own right. It’s just hard to imagine why this was made in the first place.

Check it out, in all its glory, above.

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