SATAM Visible Petrol Pump – 1930s


The SATAM Visible Petrol Pump from the 1930s is a significant piece of petroliana, representing an era where visibility and measurement of fuel were key components of the refueling process. SATAM (Société Anonyme des Téléphones Automatiques et Mécaniques), a French company established in 1921, was known for its innovative contributions to the fuel dispensing industry.

Specifications and Design

  • Type: Visible petrol pump
  • Material: Constructed from metal (usually steel) and glass for the visible cylinder.
  • Operation: Manual operation, typically involving a hand crank or lever to pump fuel into the visible glass cylinder.
  • Display: A transparent glass cylinder at the top of the pump allowed customers to see the fuel and verify the amount being dispensed.

Manufacturer: SATAM

  • Founding: Established in 1921 in France.
  • Reputation: SATAM was a pioneer in the fuel pump industry, known for its high-quality, reliable fuel dispensing systems.

Design and Functionality

  • Visible Cylinder: The defining feature of the SATAM Visible Petrol Pump was its glass cylinder. Customers could see the fuel, ensuring that they were receiving clean, uncontaminated gasoline and verifying the quantity.
  • Hand-Crank Operation: The pump was operated manually, usually with a hand crank that moved fuel from the storage tank into the glass cylinder, from which it flowed by gravity into the vehicle’s tank.
  • Durability: Made from robust materials, these pumps were built to withstand frequent use and various weather conditions.


  • Innovation: SATAM was instrumental in introducing visible petrol pumps, which increased customer trust by making the fuel dispensing process transparent.
  • Cultural Impact: Visible petrol pumps are iconic symbols of early 20th-century automotive culture and are highly valued by collectors and restorers today.
  • Influence: The concept of visible fuel measurement influenced future designs, leading to more accurate and user-friendly fuel dispensing systems.

Interesting and Important Facts

  1. Historical Significance: Visible pumps like the SATAM model were crucial in the early days of motoring, as they provided a visual assurance of fuel quality and quantity to customers.
  2. Collectibility: Due to their historical importance and distinctive design, SATAM Visible Petrol Pumps are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts of vintage petroliana.
  3. Technological Progress: These pumps represent a significant technological advancement in the fuel dispensing industry, bridging the gap between early hand-operated pumps and more modern automated systems.
  4. Restoration and Preservation: Many SATAM Visible Petrol Pumps have been restored by enthusiasts, preserving the craftsmanship and engineering of the early 20th century.


The SATAM Visible Petrol Pump from the 1930s is a remarkable piece of automotive history. Its design, which emphasized transparency and customer trust, and its durable construction have made it an enduring symbol of the early days of automobile travel. Collectors and historians highly value these pumps for their aesthetic appeal and historical significance.


error: Content is protected !!