Fill ‘er up and change the channel

My WPT colleague Dave Hestad produced a great documentary a few years back with the Wisconsin Historical Society called Fill ‘er up.  It was a television program about gas stations and their history.

Watch Fill’er Up on PBS. See more from WPT Documentaries.

It was produced a few years before television programming actually started showing up in gas pumps.  I remember the first time I used a pump with a video screen and programming created especially for the pump.  The BP on Willy Street in Madison had just been remodeled. I was not pleased.

Television screens have been showing up everywhere in the last few years.  It used to be just an old RCA in the corner of the oil change place sadly churning out day time television.  Now flat screen monitors are a ubiquitous feature of any modern business design.

Travel to any airport and you’ll see a passenger waiting area with a 52″ monitor blaring the latest news to an audience of business travelers with their eyes glued to the screens of their iPhones and Blackberries.

Then I heard a story about how, before Hurricane Sandy, one company that programmed to gas pumps in the New York Area realized that this asset was useful to help prepare people for the storm.  So the whole idea of video-fed gas pumps seemed slightly more appealing.

Then, I caught wind of this gem, the Tonight Show bit you may have seen with the singing couple. If this happened more often at the gas pump, I’d be all for the video screens:


 

 

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