Why a Shell Oil Tank truck in a railroad museum?  Because the truck tells more of the story of our 1923 Shell Oil railroad tank car.  When this tank car was built, the main commodity coming into the northwest would have been kerosene.  Much of this was used for lighting in the days before widespread electrification.  Kerosene lamps were the predominant method of lighting.  The example shown of a Shell Oil tank truck is very similar to an actual tanker shown in the picture of the Teapot Dome service station in Zillah, WA.  These kerosene delivery trucks functioned very similar to the dairy wagons that many people still remember.  On the specified day one places his empty quart bottle of milk or empty 5 gallon kerosene can on the porch.  When the delivery truck comes by, the driver brings a full container and takes the empties to be recycled.  In the case of the kerosene truck, the driver goes until all the cans on the rack are empty and then can go to the back of the truck to refill them and continue on his route.

Shell Oil Kerosene Tanker

Above is the Teapot National Historic Site landmark, a gas station in Zillah WA a few miles north of the museum.  Even though the gas station business is long gone, Zillah residents took pride in preserving their history by moving and  refurbishing the building. The teapot now serves as a visitors center for the community of Zillah.  Courtesy of the J L Whitnall collection

The museum's 1928 Fageol truck is currently under restoration from the ground up.  The frame and undercarriage have been sandblasted and powder coated (or painted) and reassembled.  The engine is freed up and components are being prepped for reinstallation.  Body work is pending.  The kerosene tank will be sandblasted and painted spring 2019.  When finished it is hoped the truck can be taken to local parades and car shows when not parked adjacent to the museum's Shell Oil railroad car.