Remember This? Gas pumps.

Dorri Partain
Northeast News

Fill ‘er up! If your gas gauge is hitting the E, you’ll be looking for a filling station to refuel your tank. And if you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll no doubt find a museum-quality restored gas station, complete with original gas pumps, signage, and a good dose of nostalgia for the original Route 66 highway.

The invention of the fuel dispenser predates the invention of the automobile. In 1885, Sylvanus Bowser (1854-1938) invented a pump that could be used to fill containers with fuel oils or kerosine. Years later, a hardware store owner devised a system that would pump fuel from an underground storage tank. John J. Tokheim (1871-1941) produced a new type of dispenser, and patented his Dome Oil Pump in 1901. The Tokheim Manufacturing Co. competed with S.F. Bowser & Co. as fuel pumps popped up along city intersections and small towns along the U.S. Highway System.

The Dome Oil Pump operated and resembled a hand-powered water pump, but the gas was pumped into a glass dome at the top so consumers could see the amount and quality of the gas. The cost was calculated manually. By the 1920’s nearly all gas pumps used a glass cylinder to measure the amount of gas, and Bowser invented the automatic shut-off nozzle in 1921, which greatly enhanced measuring and safe delivery of fuel.

The 1930’s saw the introduction of electric pumps and calculating pumps that measured and totaled the cost of the fuel as it was being pumped. Now oil companies could have pumps customized to display their specific brand and colors, topped by a lighted globe.

This 1950’s American Oil Company (Standard/Amoco) pump was manufactured by Gilbarco and was last used when the price of gas was mandated not to exceed 65.9 cents per gallon.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Remember This? Gates Ol’ Kentuck Barbecue

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Countless barbeque restaurants dot the neighborhoods in and around Kansas City today, but during the early years […]


    Lincoln Electric Park, a delight to the city’s Negro population

    February 24th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News As part of our Black History Month, we revisit a set of images we ran in […]


    Paseo YMCA plays major role in Black History

    February 17th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week, as part of our ongoing Black History Month series, we spotlight the Paseo YMCA located […]


    Remember This? Ragtime two-step

    February 17th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor More than 70 years after its composition, a Ragtime two step became a chart-topping recording. “The Entertainer” […]


    Remember This? I AM LOVED pin-back buttons

    February 10th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor It’s a small item with a big message that’s been translated into multiple languages and sent to […]


    Family Flower business a staple of Northeast Community

    February 10th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Rose Marie Serrone opened her flower and gift shop in a single story, Art Deco-style building in […]


    Remember This? The electric coffee percolator

    February 3rd, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Need coffee for a crowd? Perk up your party with a Party Percolator that brews dozens of […]


    Quindaro town-site, an important portal on the Underground Railroad

    February 3rd, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher During Black History Month, our Historic Postcard column will spotlight locations and people important to Black History […]


  • State of the art zoo for 1909

    January 27th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This circa 1914 hand colored postcard published by the Southwest News company of Kansas City, Missouri shows […]


    Remember This? Gremlins Cereal

    January 27th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Do you have any Gremlins in your kitchen cupboard? From the shoebox to the cereal box, this […]


    Remember this? Bathroom radios

    January 20th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor It’s a radio – it’s a toilet paper holder – it’s both! Combining two practical items into […]


    Flying High in Kansas City

    January 20th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week, in theme with our Remember This column on a novelty transistor radio, we’re featuring another […]


    Faultless Starch Reading Library

    January 13th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week’s postcard is a bit of a departure from the penny postcard we normally profile in […]


    Remember this? Trading stamps

    January 13th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Lick ’em, stick ’em, save ’em and trade ’em for quality merchandise – it was like getting […]


    Remember This: Desk calendars

    January 6th, 2021
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor Though the style may change, perpetual calendars never go completely out-of-date. Often designed for desk-top display, early […]


    New year, new calendar

    January 6th, 2021
    by

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week we continue our novelty postcard series with a couple of postcards that follow our “Remember […]


  • Northeast Newscast


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Postcard


  • Remember This?


  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.