07 October 2012

Redline It

The Gilbert & Barker Manufacturing Co. began making petrol pumps around 1902, and started using the brand name of Gilbarco in 1935. This pump has a Gilbarco nameplate, but is to the skeleton designs of a decade earlier. It's closest to a T-81 of the 1920s, but isn't one. The pump has been media-blasted and powder-coated, the hose treated with tyre shine, and the brass work stripped and sprayed with clear lacquer.

Redline was a brand of the Union Petroleum Products Co. Ltd, incorporated in London in 1914. Union was clearly a nationalistic choice of name: the German company of British Petroleum Ltd had largely controlled motor spirit distribution until its assets were seized at the start of WWI (YMGW passim). By 1927 Union had changed its name to the Redline Motor Spirit Co. Ltd. The arrowhead symbol was adopted around 1930, making it perfect for a G&B pump of the period. After WWII Redline was taken over by the Anglo-American Oil Co., which also owned G&B.

Historical footnote: Gilbarco is still going, as Gilbarco-Veeder-Root, which in all likelihood made the petrol pump from which the reader regularly fills up.

No comments: