One day in the early Sixties, in the course of my daily duties, I chanced upon an old five-liter, double-vessel Bergomi gasoline pump, abandoned in a sand quarry, in pitiable condition.
I decided immediately to recuperate and restore it, and since that moment more than thirty years ago, work and hobby now intermingled, I have been able to put together a collection which the experts of industrial art judge to be unique and particularly rich.
Now that the rather haphazardly assembled collection has been organized and properly structured, I can take the time to formally thank Alfredo Cattaneo, who helped me in my researches, and Giuseppe Croce who, more concretely, executed the restoration work.
And here I would allow myself some observations. The signs, the gasoline cans, the globes, the toys and the other objects which form the supporting cast for the true stars of the museum – the pumps themselves – do not serve merely as pleasing esthetic appendages to the industrial arts, but are important witnesses to the rapidity of change.
Industrial production, by its nature, quickly consumes its own products in order to make way for newer, more beautiful, more efficient ones.
To recuperate the past; to document the history of technical improvements; to confer, among other things, an esthetic dignity often unacknowledged as a result of a prejudice against the serial production of industrial objects – these have been the objectives of the past thirty years of impassioned research, and they remain as such even now that the disposition of the collection in a museum context allows a much clearer historical and esthetic reading of the collection as a whole, and of the individual objects of which it is constituted.