Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fill 'er up. Part 5. Wayne naked!

In 1891, the Wayne Oil Tank Company designed its first kerosene pump, which only two years later won the award of "Best Self Measuring Oil Pump" at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  They introduced their first gas pump in 1907, opening a plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1910.  In 1918, they produced the first "visible pump" to allow motorists to actually see the amount of gas that they were pumping.  A year later, they opened an office in Canada.  They introduced the first mechanical computing dispenser in 1933, followed by the blending pump, the electronic dispenser, and pioneered self-service and pay-at-the-pump technology.  In 1958, Wayne was bought by Symington-Gould, becoming Symington-Wayne. In 1968, they merged with Dresser Industries, becoming the Dresser-Wayne Company.  (In 1880, Solomon Dresser had patented a rubber cap "packer" for sealing pipes in the oil fields.  Five years later he patented the Dresser Joint, a flexible coupling that permitted the long-range transmission of natural gas to urban consumers.)  In 2008, Dresser merged with Halliburton, its main rival, becoming the Halliburton Company.  Dick Cheney negotiated the US $7.7 billion deal, supposedly during a weekend of quail hunting.  Halliburton paid an even higher price, since it then had to settle the asbestos law suits that Dresser brought with it.  As a result, the new company's stock value fell 80 percent in just over a year.  In 2010, Dresser was acquired by General Electric.

Click here to see a brief animated video on the history of the Wayne fuel pump.

For more information on gas pumps, visit Bob's Antique Gas Pumps.

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