Three Blind Mice #14583

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The Story

With their shiny tin hats and dial faces, these rusty gentlemen wait to serve you some good old leaded gas. Back in the days of the twenties and thirties, these old gas pumps were the modern method to fuel your car or truck. Very few remain, rusty or otherwise, and these guys are at the vehicular old folks home in a New Jersey junkyard.

Looking back at you in this picture are three very vintage mechanical gas pumps from the 1920s and ’30s. It was the leaded fuel era, and these were dispensing tetra ethyl gasoline back in the days before anyone had even imagined a four-lane interstate highway. The major road connections across the United States back then were the “US” routes which show today as red lines on a traditional paper map. America was dotted with hundreds of “filling stations” along those roads. There were large and small, fancy or plain. They would have had shiny and colorful working gas pumps very similar to these rust buckets of today.

The pump on the left had an old Sinclair logo below just out of the frame and a great green and yellow patina of faded paint. The other two have no markings and therefore beholden to no one. The center pump lost its innards somewhere along the way. The right-hand jobber is only half there because the Rust Gypsy slipped away with the other half, leaving mechanical Swiss cheese. The two upside-down tin pots worn for hats keep rainwater from ruining the rusty interior mechanisms any further.

The Three Blind Mice title comes from all three vintage pumps having their dial faces knocked out or nearly so. These gas pumps were found lined up in a metal salvage yard and I’m glad someone decided to set these interesting pieces of nostalgia aside.

There are lots more old school gas pumps fading away in the Gas Stations and Gas Pumps gallery on this website. I enjoy them all but one of my favorites is Octane Alley #10226.

Location: a New Jersey junkyard. Picture and text ©Andrew N Dierks

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