Amazing Pictures Of The Oil Crisis Of 1973

oil, gas crisis, 1973

Photo: David Falconer / EPA / US National Archives

Remember the oil crisis of 1973-1974?The organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC (consisting of the Arab members of OPEC, plus Egypt, Syria and Tunisia) proclaimed an oil embargo in response to U.S. decision to supply weapons and supplies to Israel during the Yom Kippur war. 

The embargo went in effect in October 1973 and oil prices immediately jumped from $3 per barrel to $12.

What followed was massive gas shortages and panic — gas stations served by appointment only to regular customers, or closed altogether; businesses and towns were shutting off electricity to save energy and some towns banned Christmas light to cope with the crisis.

Gas stations abandoned during the fuel crisis in the winter of 1973-74 were sometimes used for other purposes. This station at Potlatch, Washington, west of Olympia was turned into a religious meeting hall.

Gasoline Stations Abandoned During the Fuel Crisis in the Winter of 1973-74 Were Sometimes Used for Other Purposes. This Station at Potlatch, Washington, West of Olympia Was Turned Into a Religious Meeting Hall. Signs Painted on the Gas Pumps Proclaim 'Fill Up with the Holy Ghost... And Salvation.' 04/1974

Country's fuel shortage led to problems for motorists in finding gas as well as paying much more for it, and resulted in theft from cars left unprotected. This father and son, made a sign warning thieves of the possible consequences.

Country's Fuel Shortage Led to Problems for Motorists in Finding Gas as Well as Paying Much More for It, and Resulted in Theft From Cars Left Unprotected. This Father and Son, Made a Sign Warning Thieves of the Possible Consequences 04/1974

During the fuel Ccisis before gasoline sales were regulated by the state a dealer in Tigard, pumped gas only to his regular customers. The driver in this picture was refused service.

During the Fuel Crisis before Gasoline Sales Were Regulated by the State a Dealer in Tigard, Pumped Gas Only to His Regular Customers. The Driver in This Picture Was Refused Service 01/1974

Imported gasoline was sold at this service station during the fuel crisis in the fall and winter of 1973-74. It was as much as twice the price of domestic gas.

Imported Gasoline Was Sold at This Service Station, During the Fuel Crisis in the Fall and Winter of 1973-74. It Was as Much as Twice the Price of Domestic Gas and There Were Few Customers at First. But the Numbers Increased as the Crisis Grew 02/1974

Imported Gasoline Was Sold at This Service Station, During the Fuel Crisis in the Fall and Winter of 1973-74. It Was as Much as Twice the Price of Domestic Gas and There Were Few Customers at First. But the Numbers Increased as the Crisis Grew 02/1974

Imported Gasoline Was Sold at This Service Station, During the Fuel Crisis in the Fall and Winter of 1973-74. It Was as Much as Twice the Price of Domestic Gas and There Were Few Customers at First But the Numbers Increased as the Crisis Grew 02/1974

Gas by Appointment signs increased each day in Portland and other parts of Oregon until the state put into effect the odd-even gas plan. Other states also adopted the scheme to decrease the gas lines.

Gas by Appointment Signs Increased Each Day in Portland and Other Parts of Oregon until the State Put Into Effect the Odd-Even Gas Plan. Other States Also Adopted the Scheme to Decrease the Gas Lines 01/1974

Prior to Oregon's Regulation of Gasoline Station Fuel Sales Some Dealers Attempted to Sell Only to Their Regular Customers This Driver in Portland Was a Normal Customer 01/1974

The energy crisis in the U.S. resulted in attempts at humour by businesses with outdoor signboards. There is some confusion on this one below in Portland, Oregon.

The Energy Crisis in the States Or Oregon and Washington Resulted in Attempts at humour by Businesses with Outdoor Signboards. There Is Some Confusion on This One in Portland, Oregon It States Lights Are Off, But They Are on 11/1973

Bird's eye view of an average gas station in Portland during the early morning hours of pumping when gas was limited on a first-come, first served basis to five gallons per car.

Bird's Eye View of an Average Gas Station in Portland During the Early Morning Hours of Pumping When Gas Was Limited on a First-Come, First Served Basis to Five Gallons Per Auto. Situations Such as This Led to Oregon's Plan for Allocating Fuel According to licence Numbers 12/1973

Sign in a Downtown Portland Business Window Notes That with Display Lights Reduced More Than 1,600 Watts of Energy Were Being Saved 12/1973

The gas shortage in the Pacific Northwest during December 1973 had even suited businessmen hitch-hiking.

The Gas Shortage in the Pacific Northwest During December 1973 Had Even Suited Businessmen Hitch-Hiking in Places Like Beaverton 12/1973

Unlighted Business Sign Reminds Motorists to Conserve Gasoline During the Fuel Crisis 12/1973

'Turn Off the Damn Lights' Stickers Mirrored the Seriousness of the Energy Situation in Oregon During the Fall of 1973. This Sticker, in a Portland Business Office, Was Used in Newspaper Ads as Well as on Television, Billboards and Car Bumpers 10/1973

A Car Battery Operated This Neon Advertising Sign over a Business, During the Energy Crisis in December, 1973 12/1973

Gas Station Attendants Peer over Their 'Out of Gas' Sign in Portland, on Day before the State's Requested Saturday Closure of Gasoline Stations 11/1973

Gasoline stations such as this one in Lincoln City, Oregon were closing earlier and staying closed longer.

Gasoline Stations Such as This One in Lincoln City Were Closing Earlier and Staying Closed Longer, Including the Weekends During the Oregon Gasoline Shortage in the Fall of 1973. 'No Gas' Signs Became a Common Sight 10/1973

The Energy Crisis in the States of Oregon and Washington Resulted in Attempts at humour by Businesses with Darkened Signs Such as This One in Vancouver, Washington 11/1973

The Energy Crisis in the States of Oregon and Washington Resulted in Attempts at humour by Businesses with Darkened Signs Such as This One in Vancouver, Washington 11/1973

Only One of Many Such Signs That Have Appeared in the Portland Area Since the Start of the Fuel Shortage 06/1973

Signs Like This Have Begun to Appear Frequently in the Portland Area 06/1973

Posted Highway Sign Along Interstate #5 Explains Lack of Highway Lighting Is Due to Energy Conservation 11/1973

'No Gas' Signs Were a Common Sight in Oregon During the Fall of 1973, Such as at This Station in Lincoln City Along the Coast. Many Stations Closed Earlier, Opened Later and Shut Down on the Weekends 10/1973

'No Gas' Signs Were a Common Sight in Oregon During the Fall of 1973. This Station on the Coast Was Open for Any Business Other Than Selling Gasoline. Many Stations Closed Earlier, Opened Later and Shut Down on the Weekends 10/1973

Out of Gasoline Signs Were Increasingly Evident in Oregon During the Month of October, 1973. Stations Such as This One at Lincoln City Along the Coast Closed Earlier and Stayed Closed Longer, Including Weekends 10/1973

Out of Gasoline Signs Were Increasingly Evident in Oregon During the Month of October, 1973. Stations Such as This One at Lincoln City Along the Coast Closed Earlier and Stayed Closed Longer, Including Weekends 10/1973

Gas Shortage 06/1973

'Out of Gas' Signs Have Cropped Up All over the Portland Area Since the Start of the Fuel Shortage 06/1973

Gas Shortage 06/1973

Away From the Freeway, Many Portland Service Stations Carry Signs Like This 06/1973

One of Many Service Stations in the Portland Area Carrying Signs Reflecting the Gasoline Shortage 06/1973

Gas Station in the Portland Area, Away From the Freeway. One of Many Signs Reflecting Gas Shortage 06/1973

Want to see more vintage photos? Now check out:
IN PICTURES: What The New York City Subway Was Like In 1973 >

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