1935 Wayne Model 50 Displaymeter
Displaymeters were the mega-pumps of their day. These gas pumps were outfitted with display shelves to facilitate sales directly at the pump. Gas retailers realized the potential for additional, impulse sales if products were displayed at the island for the customer.
(Remember: these were the days before self-serve gas, when a gas attendant came to your car and pumped your gas, checked the oil and washed your windshield. You didn’t need to get out of your car. Unfortunately, those days are gone.)
Pumps with display space were introduced around 1932. The built-in display cases showcased batteries and accessories, while some larger cases could even accommodate tires. As if these were not large enough, Wayne made the Model 56 in 1936 that combined two pumps and display cases into one structure. There was also the Model 55, with a single pump and a doublewide display case. In addition to oil and other small car accessories, these massive pieces were used to display tires, car batteries and other large merchandise.
Wayne Factory advertisements stated that the Displaymeter “makes your island a blazing front of light and your station becomes an attractive place to shop at night when other stores are closed.” And from a purely business perspective, “In the market of petroleum today it is conceded that the eye-appeal of the dispensing pump is a paramount importance. The island is the sign of service and the pumps tell what kind of service to expect.” The Wayne Co. was very successful, even through the Depression, so evidently, their strategy worked.
In terms of style, the Model 50 Displaymeter had the elegant Art Deco stepped sides typical in the 30’s Wayne pump design, with the addition of the 4 glass sides and shelves to display merchandise. Lights inside the case illuminated the products on display.
This pump was restored with the Texaco gas company logo and illuminated globe. The sight meter is outside of and above the clock face as was the design in the early 30’s. Not only are these pumps very striking, but also they are extremely rare. Not many of them have survived the test of time.
This Wayne Model 50 Displaymeter was restored by Vintage Vending and is not for sale. If you have a question for another collector that might be able to help you, please post it here.