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Columbian Steel Tank Company
Columbian Steel Tank Company
TitleColumbian Steel Tank Company
DescriptionPromotional postcard from the Columbian Steel Tank Co
Historical ArticleThe old promotional post card put out by the Columbian Steel Tank Co., Kansas City, pictures a small metal pre-fabricated steel filling station which the company made before World War II. The government prohibited the use of steel for the steel buildings during the war. A few were made after the war, but none are manufactured by the company today.

An old Columbian catalog of 1938 pictures this Modified B.A. Model as well as other steel buildings manufactured by the company, including tourist camps, small offices, hamburger stands, summer cottages, garages, barns, engine houses, ice cream parlors and even small homes.

According to the catalog, the advantages were elimination of termites, fire, earthquake and lightning hazards, ease of erection, low cost and portability.

A. A. Kramer of Kansas City was founder of Columbian Steel Tank in 1893. He investigated the possibility of fabricating steel sheets into building sections. His plan was to design a factory-fabricated building which would be less expensive and far more durable than wood, stone or brick structures of comparable size and design.

Columbian Metal Buildings are actually as simple as A.B.C. to erect, reads the old brochure. The filling station building was erected in less than 12 hours by four boys, ages 14, 15, 17 and 19. Tools, one hammer, two wrenches, one screw driver. Floor plans in the catalog show the building contained an office and two rest rooms.

The station pictured was one operated by the Imperial Oil Co. The company was organized with a small refinery in Oklahoma in 1915. About 1928 it began the retail business with small filling stations. The company still operates several stations in this area.

According to Imperial Oil officials, gasoline sold for 11.9 cents a gallon in 1938.

Kansas City Times
July 20, 1979

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectAdvertisements
Columbian Steel Tank Company
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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