The Shell Oil Company was organized in Great Britain in 1907 and within five years had reached the shores of the United States. It would take another 17 years before Super Shell gasolines would be sold in Rochester.

In 1929, the Shell Oil Company opened five filling stations at once, including this station on the corner of Second Avenue and Third Street Southwest, which would also serve as the company’s business headquarters for the city. The move would help bring the number of gas stations in Rochester to 36, up from the previous year’s count of 22.

In 1934, Shell’s city manager Noble Miller decided that a five-year anniversary party was in order. As part of the celebration, Miller lined up all of the company’s bulk trucks and service vehicles on Second Avenue Southwest for a photo op.

Also by 1934, the number of Rochester filling stations had jumped to 50.

Lens on History is a weekly photo feature by Lee Hilgendorf, a volunteer at the History Center of Olmsted County.

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