Saturday 5th September 1885
The first gasoline pump was invented and sold by Sylvanus Bowser in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This pump, held one barrel of gasoline used marble valves and a wooden plunger, was not used for automobiles, as they had not been invented yet. It was instead used for some kerosene lamps and stoves. He later improved upon the pump by adding safety measures, and also by adding a hose to directly dispense fuel into automobiles. For a while, the term bowser was used to refer to a vertical gasoline pump. Although the term is not used anymore in the United States, except as a term for trucks that carry and dispense fuel to large aircraft at airports, it still is used sometimes in Australia and New Zealand. Many early gasoline pumps had a calibrated glass cylinder on top. The desired quantity of fuel was pumped up into the cylinder as indicated by the calibration. Then the pumping was stopped and the gasoline was let out into the customer’s tank by gravity. When metering pumps came into use, a small glass globe with a turbine inside replaced the measuring cylinder, but assured the customer that gasoline really was flowing into the tank.