Friday, September 5, 2008

This day in Fort Wayne history: Pay at the pump

Sept. 5, 1885: Pay at the Pump: "To reduce spillage, Bowser built a pump in his Fort Wayne, Indiana, barn. He sold and delivered the first one to Fort Wayne merchant Jake Gumper 123 years ago today."

And here's a cool little-known factoid:

The word bowser soon became a generic term for a vertical gasoline pump. That usage has dropped away in the United States, but lingers in Australia, New Zealand and, to a lesser extent, Canada.

It's weird, whenever I've been in New Jersey, there's no self-serve gasoline. Station attendants still do it.


  1. I love little factoids like this!

  2. Anonymous12:59 PM

    There are state laws in New Jersey and Oregon that protect their citizens from the horrors self-service gas!