Price Numberals from Gast Station

Until the 1970s, motorists were accustomed to gasoline prices under 40 cents per gallon. The gasoline shortages of 1973-1974 and 1979 curtailed supplies in many areas and sent prices sharply higher. Protests erupted as fill-ups became a major challenge, and sticker shock at the pump reflected new economic pressures on consumers, truckers, and retailers. At decade’s end, the real and psychological hardships associated with breaking the dollar barrier, and the timing of the second gasoline shortage in the warm weather months, were enough to reduce shopping trips and vacation trips, if only temporarily. In the 1980s gasoline was plentiful, but dollar-plus prices remained the norm. These numerals, showing $1.01 9/10 per gallon, were placed on a price sign at Closter Exxon in Closter, New Jersey. In the mid-2000s, gasoline prices exceeded $2.00 per gallon, and Glenn Bourke, the owner of Closter Exxon, stored these numerals in the gas station attic. They were donated to the National Museum of American History in 2013.
Object Name
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
blue (overall color)
white (overall color)
number "1.": 10 in x 8 1/2 in x 1/8 in; 25.4 cm x 21.59 cm x .3175 cm
number "0": 10 in x 8 1/2 in x 1/8 in; 25.4 cm x 21.59 cm x .3175 cm
number "1": 10 in x 8 1/2 in x 1/8 in; 25.4 cm x 21.59 cm x .3175 cm
number "9/10": 10 in x 6 in x 1/8 in; 25.4 cm x 15.24 cm x .3175 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
American Enterprise
Road Transportation
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
American Enterprise
Road Transportation
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Closter Exxon through Glenn Bourke, Jr.
Additional Media

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