From kerosene to gasoline, an 1892 Wayne Oil Tank & Pump Company dispenser preserves petroleum history.
Wayne D. Lease of White Salmon, Washington, owns a rare 1892 pump designed to dispense kerosene. The self-measuring device was one of just 50 manufactured by the Wayne Oil Tank & Pump Company during its first year of business in Wayne, Indiana. Lease is looking for more information about his petroleum technology artifact.
Originally designed for selling kerosene at mercantile stores, Lease’s Wayne company self-measuring pump was later adapted for dispensing gasoline instead of kerosene, according to its current owner.
“My research indicates the Wayne pump was never manufactured to be use for gasoline, but rather kerosene only,” Lease noted in a December 2020 email to the American Oil & Gas Historical Society. He explained that many researchers of gasoline service station pumps have overlooked Wayne and other manufacturers’ altered pumps, “best defined as an ‘after strike,’ which allowed the use in the transfer of the more volatile gasoline.”
The rare pump’s vender made good use of what had become obsolete, Lease added.
The original Wayne Oil Tank & Pump Company design was limited to the specific use of kerosene as a lamp fuel, Lease explained. Kerosene, sold in the general stores of rural America — with stage coach stops in placed on an average of 15 miles to 25 miles apart.
Kerosene lamp fuel would be joined by a new transportation fuel in the early 1900s, gasoline for autos. “Small cities now become the hub of commerce on a larger scale with the introduction of the combustion engine,” he added. Kerosene would succumb to the Rural Electrification Act (1936) as gasoline became the U.S. consumer’s primary need.
“The Wayne pump, one of fifty made in1892, was then certified for the use of the transfer of Gasoline, and the vender made good use of what had become obsolete,” the amateur pump historian concluded in his 2020 email to AOGHS. He continues to research more information about the pump.
“It is in immaculate condition as you can see by the photographs, Lease noted in his email to AOGHS. He is seeking more information about the pump…and a potential petroleum museum interested in adding the Wayne pump to its collection. Comments are welcomed below.
Learn more U.S. petroleum history in First Gas Pump and Service Station.
Wayne Fueling Systems
History from the former Wayne Oil Tank Company, today still operating as Wayne Fueling Systems:
Wayne has been shaping the retail and fleet fueling industry since we designed our first pump in 1891. We were known as the Wayne Oil Tank Company back then, and from the very beginning we were developing a reputation for quality.
In fact, this inaugural product won the distinction “The Best Self Measuring Oil Pump” at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago just two years later. Once the motor vehicle entered the scene, our purpose and mission was solidified – to create a reliable, accurate way for motorists to refuel cars...Learn more at About Wayne Fueling Systems.
Recommended Reading: Pump and Circumstance: Glory Days of the Gas Station (1993). Your Amazon purchase benefits the American Oil & Gas Historical Society. As an Amazon Associate, AOGHS earns a commission from qualifying purchases.
The American Oil & Gas Historical Society preserves U.S. petroleum history. Become an AOGHS supporting member and help maintain this energy education website and expand historical research. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright © 2021 Bruce A. Wells. All rights reserved.
Citation Information – Article Title: “Oil Riches of Merriman Baptist Church.” Authors: B.A. Wells and K.L. Wells. Website Name: American Oil & Gas Historical Society. URL: https://aoghs.org/oil-almanac/oil-riches-of-merriman-baptist-church. Last Updated: July 19, 2021. Original Published Date: July 14, 2021.