Gilbarco Clock Face Gas Pump – 1940


The Gilbarco Clock Face Gas Pump from the 1940s is a highly collectible piece of petroliana. Gilbarco, originally known as the Gilbert & Barker Manufacturing Company, has been a leading manufacturer of fuel dispensing equipment for over a century. The clock face pump is one of their iconic models, representing the technological advancements and design aesthetics of the era.

Specifications and Design

  • Type: Mechanical clock face gasoline pump
  • Material: Typically constructed from durable metals like cast iron and steel, with glass components for the clock face and meter display.
  • Operation: Manual operation with a visible mechanical meter.
  • Display: A distinctive clock face dial that displayed the amount of fuel dispensed, measured in gallons or liters.

Manufacturer: Gilbarco

  • Founding: Originally established as Gilbert & Barker Manufacturing Company in 1865.
  • Reputation: Known for pioneering innovations in the fuel dispensing industry, Gilbarco has a legacy of producing reliable and accurate fuel pumps.

Design and Functionality

  • Clock Face Dial: The most distinctive feature of the Gilbarco Clock Face Pump is its mechanical dial, which resembles a clock face. This dial made it easy for customers to see how much fuel was being dispensed.
  • Durability: Built from robust materials to withstand the rigors of daily use and harsh environmental conditions.
  • Manual Operation: These pumps required the operator to manually pump fuel, which was common before the widespread adoption of electric pumps.


  • Innovation: The clock face pump was a significant technological advancement in the fuel dispensing industry, offering improved accuracy and ease of use compared to earlier models.
  • Cultural Impact: These pumps are iconic symbols of the mid-20th century, representing the golden age of automobile travel and the expansion of the service station industry.
  • Collectibility: Due to their distinctive design and historical significance, Gilbarco Clock Face Pumps are highly sought after by collectors and restorers of vintage petroliana.

Interesting and Important Facts

  1. Historical Significance: The clock face pump represents an era of increased transparency and accuracy in fuel dispensing, which helped build customer trust in service stations.
  2. Technological Progress: These pumps were among the first to feature a mechanical metering system, a precursor to the digital systems used today.
  3. Restoration and Preservation: Many of these pumps have been restored by enthusiasts, preserving the craftsmanship and industrial design of the 1940s.
  4. Cultural Icon: The Gilbarco Clock Face Pump is often featured in museums, vintage car shows, and classic service station displays, highlighting its importance in automotive history.


The Gilbarco Clock Face Gas Pump from the 1940s is a remarkable piece of petroliana. Its innovative design, durability, and historical significance make it a prized collectible. These pumps not only represent technological advancements in the fuel dispensing industry but also serve as cultural icons of an era when automobile travel was becoming a central part of everyday life.


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