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 leaded gas. Back in the days of the twenties and thirties, these gas pumps were the modern method for your motoring. Very few remain, rusty or otherwise, and these guys are at the old folks home in a New Jersey junkyard.

Looking back at you in this image are three very vintage mechanical gas pumps from the 1920’s and 30’s. 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 small “filling stations” along those roads. There were both large and small, fancy and plain. They would have had shiny and colorful working gas pumps very similar to these rust buckets of today.

The pump on the left has an old Sinclair logo below just out of the frame and a great green and yellow patina of faded paint, but the other two have no markings and therefore beholden to no one. The center pump has lost its innards. 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.

Image and text ©Andrew N Dierks

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