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LETTERS

Self-Service Station Sat on Gilmore Site

January 12, 2003

Roger Vincent's colorful background on the historic uses of the Gilmore property at 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue ("Gilmore Completes Farmers Market Addition," Dec. 30) omits a historic use in the early 1950s: what was probably Los Angeles' first self-service gas station.

The Gilmore station offered gas at a discount by letting customers fill their own tanks and then pay one of several attractive young women on roller skates.

To counter this cut-rate gas outlet, major oil companies brought pressure on fire authorities to shut it down as a fire hazard. I think of this every time I use one of today's self-service stations, supported, of course, by the major oil companies.

Martin A. Brower

Corona del Mar

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