Popularly known as ‘Visible Gas Pumps’, these giants of the station forecourts ensured that filling your tank was very much a ‘hands on’ experience in 1920’s America. Standing at almost 10 ft tall including their shimmering milk glass ‘clam shell’ globe lights, these beauties relied on the attendant to fill the transparent reservoir with gas by pumping it up from below using the wooden handle. The fact that the petrol was ‘visible’ meant that a specific volume could be measured against a calibrated scale within the chamber, after which it would be released and delivered to the car’s tank via a brass nozzle using gravity alone.
This particular example is one of the finest we’ve seen, having undergone a full restoration just prior to being brought to the UK. With its ‘Super Shell’ logo in signature yellow with red outline and detailing it really is a fabulous thing to behold, especially when the globe is lit, but don’t forget to consider the height as you’re going to need a serious amount of headroom in your pad to accommodate this spectacular piece! It is also suitable for displaying outside, where ceiling height would be less of an issue, and although the paintwork etc is largely weatherproof it would of course need some attention from time to time.
The Gilbert and Barker Manufacturing Company of Springfield, Massachusetts were one of the best known producers of such pumps and actually set up business as early as 1865, which counts as pre-history in the USA! This ‘self measuring’ pump was one of their best known products and although rare today, was ubiquitous throughout the States in the ’20’s and ’30’s. Amazingly, the company is still going strong today, having diversified into other products and re-branded as ‘Gilbarco’.
Why not come down to our Chertsey showroom for a face to face meeting with this legendary old timer? We guarantee that like us, you’ll be totally ‘pumped’!