original and exceptionally rare enameled purple opalescent white glass service station pump globe


UR #:: UR-6800-10

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Product Description

original early 20th century pressed opalescent white glass service station standard oil gas pump globe. the completely intact gas pump crown globe retains the original, albeit faded rare purple enameled finish, produced for only a very short time period. the standard oil globe was discovered in an old chicago service station. the first gas pumps were built in the 1880s by the bowser company in fort wayne, indiana, followed in 1898 by pumps that could pull fuel from an underground tank. the popularity of the automobile soared in the 1920's, leading to a dramatic increase in service station construction, with the gas pump becoming a key promotional or branding tool . the early pumps were "visible gas" pumps, with a clear glass cylinder, usually 5 or 10 gallons on top of the pump. there was a manual pump youd pull back and forth to pump the gas out of the underground tank into the cylinder, which was 8 or 10 feet tall. from there the gas flowed by gravity down the hose into the car. next came the electric pump, but people still wanted to see the gas, so they had a small cylinder, called a sight glass. these pumps had a clock face that kept track of the gallons, and then the seller would have to compute the cost in their head. gas globes are spherical glass signs that sat atop gas pumps in the first half of the 20th century, advertising a specific oil company or brand of gasoline. generally made from a ring of metal with a lens mounted on either side, they were produced in various shapes (e.g., clamshell, flame finial, etc.) and innumerable designs. the purpose of gas pump globes was brand identification for drivers at a distance. lighting wasnt as good on gas stations as it is today. sometimes all a motorist could recognize driving by was the gas pump itself lit up, and the globe glowed so they'd know what brand of gas was available. post world war ii, pumps started getting smaller, and by the 1960s, it was unusual to have a globe.