Home Drake Well Foundation About OilHistory.com The Author Contact
Dispensing Gasoline
Introduction and Glass Pumps
Early Gasoline Measuring
Beman Automatic Gasoline Tank
Other Gas Pump Producers
Gasoline Stations
Northwest Pennsylvania Gas Stations
Stations, Brands and Advertising, NW PA
This Can Rules

Other Gas Pump Producers

According to J. Margolies (1996) there were a great number of gasoline pump manufacturers on the scene in the early 1900’s, and four of them were major producers. In his well written and illustrated book, mention is made of the Bowser Pump Company’s founder, Sylvanus F. Bowser who in 1885 had invented a particular type of water pump with a wooden plunger. Bowser later turned his knowledge and attention to the fabrication of a self-measuring “gasoline” tank which brought up and served coal oil from a barrel. This led to the manufacture of filling station cabinets by the Bowser Pump Company. By the 19teens Bowser was quite busy making various models of gasoline pumps for filling stations.

Other early gasoline dispenser (pump) manufacturers that made a name for themselves were the Tokheim Oil Tank & Pump Co. of San Francisco, Wayne Company (“honest measure”), Fry Co. of Rochester, PA, More Company and American Brand (Margolies, 1996), The Bennet Pump Company (founded 1922 in Michigan, known for clock face meters) and the Service Station Equipment company (Steil and Luning, 2002). The swift rise of the demand for gasoline caused many small companies and inventors to tinker and try out improvements on storage tanks, pumps and cans, but most of them didn’t find a suitable place in the market. One of them was the Ideal Tank Co. headed by Lew L. Theuret of Meadville, Pennsylvania. They improved gasoline delivery from tanks.

Those companies in the gasoline pump manufacturing business had to be very agile and inventive because of the many revolutionary and closely-spaced changes in mechanism and design which took place rapidly in a span of 30 years. Some of these landmarks in the evolution of the gas pump were 1. gravity flow from the tall visible (glass cylinder) pumps, 2. electric flow pumps, electric metering of volume and price (calculating pumps), 3. underground pumping device, short or squat pumps, digital metering, to name a few.

Sinclair DINO
This Sinclair DINO rectangular gasoline pump of the late 1940’s and 50’s was installed for home use at a religious retreat. When this photograph was first shown, the location got out and that was the end of the collectible pump.

© 2004, Samuel T. Pees
all rights reserved