vintage american c. 1950's large red & white enamel "self serivce island" gas station exterior sign. measures 36 1/2 x 24 inches. manufactured by the may adverting co., fort worth, tx. great condition with only slight fading of the bold white letters, which is typical from years of outdoor use. removed from an old filling station in whiting, in. the world's first purpose built gas station was constructed in st. louis, missouri in 1905 at 412 s. theresa avenue. the second gas station was constructed in 1907 by standard oil of california (now chevron) in seattle, washington. reighard's gas station in altoona, pennsylvania claims that it dates from 1909 and is the oldest existing gas station in the united states. early on, they were known to motorists as "filling stations". standard oil began erecting roadside signs of their logo to advertise their filling stations.