There was a great article in Sunday's Buffalo News regarding the Vitascope. This was the first motion picture theater actually designed for this purpose. It was located in the Ellicott Square Building in downtown Buffalo, and the area still exists at the bottom of a spiral staircase.
This reminded me of a photocopy of an article I had laying around from Business First of Buffalo, week of February 24, 1997. It is of Buffalo's first gas station (according to family history), located at 179 Ellicott Street. That number on Ellicott no longer exists and is probably part of a larger parcel owned by the NFTA.
The picture was taken in 1917. The founders of the business were Irish immigrant brothers - (as pictured) Andrew, Adam, and John Harbison (my grandfather). Their names grace the walls of Ellis Island.
Harbison Brothers Inc. was originally founded as a maker and re-builder of wooden barrels in 1893 by Adam and Andrew. John, a younger brother, joined them at a later point in time. Harbison Brothers now reconditions and recycles steel drum barrels and is operated by the descendants of Adam Harbison.
In later years Andrew would be involved with a lawsuit against the City of Buffalo (Harbison vs Buffalo) . It seems he had been operating a cooperage on Cumberland Avenue since 1924, which was then an industrial area. Years later people built homes around him and wanted him out. The farmers in "rural but becoming residential" areas can probably empathize with his position.
One of the attorneys on the case was William J. Ostrowski, father of attorney and writer Jim Ostrowski, founder of Free New York. This case is still cited in various existing non-conforming land use cases throughout the country.
Eventually Adam and John would move their families from Buffalo to Clarence, while Andrew moved his to East Aurora.
No word on what the price of gas was in those days.
(**Update** I wrote a correction/addition on January 8, 2008, as some of the dates don't quite jibe)