Here in NJ we are not supposed to pump are own gas. So the guy pumping the gas always rounds the gas to the highest round number, IE $10.00, $15.00 and so on. While getting gas for the t yesterday I wondered about the old gravity pumps of the 20's. If you were unable to round to a whole gallon on top off how they would charge? Unlike today pumps that calculate to the penny they didn't have that back in the 20's. Did the attendant use that thing that we have lost over the years, Math?
I'm pretty sure they had to use math to calculate the amount of the purchase. Additionally, if the customer purchased, say, $1.47 worth and handed over 2 one-dollar bills, there was a need to calculate the change too, both skills having become scarce in modern times!
Interesting point, how did they charge for partial gallons of gas . I have a visible pump in my back yard and looked at the gallon register in the glass cylinder. I guess if you were quick you could shut off the fuel flow before it spilled over. The interesting question would be how did they calculate the exact cost? This was when gas was 10-20 cents a gallon. Especially because these old pumps were not computer controlled, they required the operator to THINK and use their BRAIN !!!!!!
Was at the mall the other day and the computer/ cash register failed in a store. Our purchases were $86.00 and my wife handed the clerk a $100.00 dollar bill. The clerk had no idea how to make and count out our change. My wife stepped behind the counter and showed the clerk how to count out our change from $86, 87, 88, 89 ,90 and then a ten dollar bill to make $100.00. the sales girl told my wife no one had taught her how to do that. The clerk looked like a deer caught in the headlights of the on coming car.
wahts' the world coming to???
Show a kid an analog clock and ask him what quarter to or half past is. Many have no clue.
I have a couple of visible pumps too, and I imagine there was plenty of room for error.
In the old days, a few pennies was like a dollar today. Very rarely did one use a 100 dollar bill. Most used one dollar bills or 5 dollars. Half dollars and quarters were worth very much. When I went to high school, you could put in $1 of gas and it would go for many miles. $250 would fill the tank and get some change. The man in the hardware store used a tablet to write down the prices of the items to be purchased and then draw a line and write the total. He was right every time. He didn't use a calculator. His cash register merely rung up the total amount which he entered in and gave you your change.
Times have changed. Recently we went to a store and handed the clerk a note. She was about 19. She said, could you read it to me? I can't read cursive writing!
Schools are different these days.
Your comment about cursive writing tells a lot about how our young people communicate now, Norm. When we were a lot younger folks would write a letter to a friend or relative. Our ability to communicate was dependent on our ability to write in cursive, compose a sentence and paragraph, punctuate, and all the other aspects of writing. These tools of articulate communications are being lost to OMG and LOL.
I remember my dad always telling gas station attendants how much gas his car would take. I think that was a throwback to the days when the attendant had to hand pump the gas into the glass cylinder.
In his later years he bought a motor home, and loved gimmicks. So I installed one of those (then new) "driving computers" that told you what your gas mileage was and how much gas you had used. He just loved to pull into a station and tell the attendant, "Fill 'er up. I think it'll take about 42.8 gallons." Then watch the attendant's face when the pump stopped at 42.8.
Most of the early pump-jockies carried a computer on their belt.
Is that a Texaco guy? Wow. I still barely remember the commercials from when I was a kid.
The conductors on our city buses and street cars carried those. A kid could ride the street car for
10 øre, about 1.5 cents, back then, double that for an adult.
Why do we have to have inflation? Is it a conscious effort on part of the politicians to steal our savings without calling it a tax?
I believe that is a change maker on his belt. By pushing down on the little lever next to each cylinder he could get a penny, nickel, dime or quarter.
I'm still trying to figure out the line about not being able to pump gas in NJ. Serious or a joke?
Oregonians according to the their state govt are not able enough to pump their own gas as well. It amazes me to go to Oregon and buy gas have it pumped and windows washed for the same price or less than I pay in Washington pumping my own.
In my day, most folks got a dollars worth, if they could afford it, sometimes a quarter or so, I've even done that. We used the old glass cylinder pumps, pretty inexact, one of our tricks would be to go to town and drain the cup or so of gas out of the hose after they locked up for the night, they only locked the pump handle, so there was always a bit of residual if no one got there first. We sold coal oil at our Store (kerosene) mostly in glass gallon jugs with a corn cob stopper, with a piece of binder twine looped through the thumb hole and hooked over their saddle horn, mostly for a nickel, gasoline was 12 or 14 cents, my how times have changed.
Same thing in Oregon,.....can't pump your own gas! I've actually had a guy that I know in Oregon ask me,...."so why do you want to pump your own gas anyway? (....to each his own I guess,huh?)
Oops! Sorry "brass car guy",.....didn't see your post!
Oops! Sorry "brass car guy",.....didn't see your post!
I would assume people bought an even number of gallons rather than an even amount of money back in the visible pump days. Use your stick to check how much it will hold and tell the attendant to sell you that amount. At least that's how I always figured it worked. That way, the math is simple multiplication. I doubt many folks told them to give them $x worth and make them calculate some fraction of a gallon that may not even be marked on the pump. 'Course, I could be wrong. That was way before my time.
I don't know how common but these gas pump price cards make sense.
"Gas Price Card made by the Rutledge Equipment Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. The gas stations were given a number of these cards with different prices for gas on the front and back. The cards were most likely found on the inside of the glass globe or window of a vintage gas station from the 1920's. The card measures 7¾" long x 5 3/8" wide. On one side the price is 23 & 4/10 cents a gallon or 23 & 6/10 cents a gallon. The card reads for one gallon of gas you pay 24 cents all the way up to $3.54 cents for 15 gallons of gas"
To Steve in Tennessee: it's a union thing.Don't 'ya know?
I vaguely remember being told you bought gallons of gas as opposed to dollars worth. So when you pulled up to the pump and asked for 5 gallons that's how much they'd pump up to where it reached the level requested and then gravity brought it down into the tank. I remember filling 5 gallon cans and carrying over to the tractor that was running the threshing machine. I always thought it was a big deal to pump that big old handle and watch the gas come up in the glass. It always looked like it was appearing out of nowhere when it started to fill up the glass.
"You can trust your car to the man who wears the star"
The big bright Texaco Star!
Brass car guy, is right, I live in Oregon and have seen that gas can be cheaper here then in Washington (the difference is the the Taxes between the two states). Plus instead of one person sitting in a booth taking your money we have maybe 3 to 4 people with jobs. With the Model T, they hand me the hose and I put my own gas in the tank.
In all my vintage cars I insist on pumping my own gas and never had a problem with it. They do get a kick when I open the seat to open the gas tank.
I use Grady's trick all the time, after the pump turns off, I squeeze the trigger and try to get anything left in the hose too.
CHEAP!!! ¢ ¢ ¢
I'm in Oregon and we're paying 3.90+ where I am at. My buddy in his RV just paid 3.63 somewhere near Spokane yesterday.
I guess it depends on where you're at.
But having said that, I would still rather someone else pump the gas.
How about this?
Skip ahead to about the 4 minute mark...be careful what you wish for.
If the hose was full when you started, why can't the next guy enjoy the same benefit?
The next guy paid for your hose full
because he starts with an empty hose.
He would only break even if he did drain
the hose after shutting off the gas pump.
Obviously, if the guy before you drained the hose, you are the one who can only break even.
I would stay seated in the car and tell them I don't think they are trained or qualified to pump gas in my car and if they insisted, I would ask them to find the tank opening.