1933 – Contometric display

Meanwhile another fundamental change was underway. It was 1933 when the Wayne Tank and Pump Company proposed a new mechanism for indicating the quantity dispensed. Instead of being connected to the sphere of the clock-face gauge, the spindle of the measuring chamber set in motion a complex system of clockworks which directed a series of…

1930 – Clock-face models

The nature of the visible pump obliged it to a certain monumentality: the vessel had to be placed above because the gasoline flowed by force of gravity to the vehicle, and it had to have a large capacity so as to not render the transaction too slow. The designers, in tending to the esthetic aspect…

1928 – Volumetric pumps

But the visible pumps were slow: once the vessel had emptied, one had to wait for it to fill up again. And they were even a bit dangerous: if the vessel broke, the service area would be instantly drenched by a cascade of flammable liquid. When at the end of the Twenties there appeared a…

1920 – Gasoline stations

The visible pumps were the protagonists of the Twenties, a decade in which the progress of motorization and of fuel distribution forged strongly ahead. By 1920, the gasoline pump had become part of the landscape, like street lamps and mailboxes. The number of gas stations on US territory approached fifteen thousand, though at this point…

1920 – Le visible pumps

In seguito la pompa conservò il compito di sollevare il liquido, mentre quello di misurare passava al vaso: iniziava la stagione delle visible pumps, i distributori a misurazione visibile. L’apparecchio era sempre imponente un robusto involucro conteneva la pompa la quale non più legata alla misurazione, poteva essere rotativa e mossa da motore elettrico; sopra…

1910 – Lighted globes

It seemed that the thirst for gasoline was insatiable, even though more and more was being produced: in 1914 it became the principal product of petroleum refining, percentually overtaking kerosene, thanks to a new process called “cracking.” The competition among the producers was becoming stiff, and one began to see the first brand names appearing…

1908 – Ford Model T

The availability of these new pumps, the proliferation of the filling stations, and the general expansion of motorization had a reciprocal multiplying effect: if the growing number of automobiles encouraged the installation of new pumps, the resulting accessibility to gasoline opened the doors for the broader use and diffusion of motor vehicles. In 1908, with…

1906 – Tokheim Dome Oil Pump

Another step forward was taken in the following year by another pioneer in the field, John J. Tokheim, from whose garage came the Tokheim Dome Oil Pump. To the self-measuring pump he added a mechanical counter that indicated the quantity dispensed, along with a graduated glass vessel into which the liquid flowed before passing through…

1905 – Bowser Self-measurnig Pump

By 1905 the revolutionary system of Grenner and Laessig already appeared cumbersome and obsolete in respect to the latest product of the S. F. Bowser & Co. Founded by Sylvanus F. Bowser in order to realize his invention of 1885, the company had continued to operate in the petroleum business, devising and perfecting new products….

1905 – Automobile Gasoline Co.

The automobile was already a common sight in the streets of St. Louis when, in 1905, Harry Grenner and Clem Laessig founded the Automobile Gasoline Company. The terms of the company charter are indicative: kerosene is not even mentioned there. It focuses instead on the retail sale of gasoline in keeping with the times, using…