GILBERT & BARKER Model: T8 – 1910’s


The Gilbert & Barker Model T8 from the 1910s is not a motorcycle but rather an early gasoline pump. The Gilbert & Barker Manufacturing Company, founded by Charles Gilbert and John Barker in 1865, initially produced a “gas machine” for vaporizing petroleum distillates for lighting systems. By 1910, the company began manufacturing hand-operated gasoline pumps, which became an integral part of the burgeoning automobile industry.

Specifications and Design

  • Type: Hand-operated gasoline pump
  • Material: Steel and fabric (for components like hoses)
  • Functionality: The T8 was designed to facilitate the direct refueling of automobiles, which was a significant improvement over earlier methods that required motorists to manually transfer gasoline using cans or buckets.

Manufacturer Legacy

Gilbert & Barker’s contributions to the gasoline pump industry were foundational. They pioneered the transition from cumbersome manual refueling methods to more practical, efficient, and safer gasoline dispensing systems. This innovation played a crucial role in the development of modern gas stations and the overall automotive infrastructure.

Interesting and Important Facts

  1. Innovation: The T8 model represented one of the earliest pumps to feature a mechanical gauge for measuring the amount of gasoline dispensed, which enhanced accuracy and efficiency.
  2. Impact on the Industry: The development of these early gasoline pumps by Gilbert & Barker helped standardize the way gasoline was sold and distributed, leading to the proliferation of dedicated gas stations.
  3. Cultural Significance: Gasoline pumps, such as the T8, have become symbols of the automobile era, representing the shift towards widespread car ownership and the rise of road travel.

Historical Context

During the 1910s, as automobiles became more common, the demand for gasoline soared. Gilbert & Barker’s innovations made it easier for drivers to refuel their cars, thus supporting the rapid expansion of the automotive industry. Their pumps were crucial in establishing the infrastructure that allowed for the convenience of modern fueling stations.


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