Gas Shortages, Oregon 1973-74 (gallery)

  • Pumps Closed Sign
    “Gasoline shortage hit the State of Oregon in the Fall of 1973. By midday gasoline was becoming unavailable along interstate highways. These pumps were closed on Interstate #5” David Falconer, Sutherlin, OR, October 1973
  • Hitchhiking Business Man
    “The gas shortage in the Pacific Northwest during December 1973 had even suited businessmen hitch-hiking in places like Beaverton,” David Falconer, Beaverton, OR, December 1973.
  • No Gas Today Sign
    “Gasoline stations such as this one at Lincoln City were closing earlier and staying closed longer, including the weekends during the Oregon gasoline shortage in the fall of 1973. The “No Gas Today” sign became a common sight. David Falconer, Lincoln City, OR, October 1973
  • Out of Gas Sign and Bicycler
    “Oregon still had scattered gasoline problems in May,1974. A downtown station in Portland shows a sign saying the day’s allocation is sold out. A bicycler uses an alternate method of transportation,” David Falconer, Portland OR, May 1974.
  • Waiing in Gas Line
    “Some motorists ran out of gas such as this man in Portland and had to stand in line with a gas can during the fuel crisis in the Pacific Northwest,” David Falconer, Portland, December 1973.
  • Even Numbers Only Sign
    “The State of Oregon was the first to go to a system of odd and even numbers during the gasoline crisis in the fall and winter of 1973-74. Here motorists with even numbered licenses line up for gasoline on an even numbered day. The plan was in effect Monday through Friday. Anyone could get gas on Saturdays if it was available. All stations were closed Sundays in Portland.” David Falconer, Portland, February 1974

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Documerica photography project captured scenes from the energy shocks of 1973–1974, including these photos of gas stations in Oregon. 

In what ways might these photographs stand for the broader economic and environmental crises of the 1970s?

Citation: 
Environmental Protection Agency, Project DOCUMERICA, U.S. National Archives’ Local Identifier: 412-DA-13003.
Library Item date: 
1973