In 1900, there were 20 million horses and only 4,000 cars in the United States. Today, gas stations are everywhere, but when cars were ﬁ rst invented, gas stations were not yet around. People bought their gasoline at the general store. They ﬁlled their own buckets with gasoline and used a funnel to pour it into the car’s gas tank.
The increase in automobile ownership after Henry Ford started to sell cars that the middle class could afford resulted in greater demand for gas. In 1905, about 25,000 cars were manufactured in the United States and Sylvanus F. Browner perfected a pump that would take gas out of a barrel and ﬁ ll a car’s tank. The ﬁrst “ﬁlling stations” started opening that same year.