This is a restored 1950s-era Sinclair “Dino Supreme” gas pump, the original lights all work when it’s plugged into a wall socket, though sadly it no longer pumps gas at the $0.29 per gallon price it did back in 1955.
The Sinclair Oil Corporation was founded in 1916 by Harry F. Sinclair as an amalgamation of of 11 smaller petroleum companies. Sinclair famously used a green dinosaur as their logo, it was widely believed at the time that oil came from the long dead bodies of dinosaurs buried deep underground.
Just a few years after its founding Sinclair would be deeply involved in the now infamous Teapot Dome scandal involving the administration of US President Warren G. Harding from 1921 to 1923. Before the Watergate scandal came along decades later, the Teapot Dome scandal was considered “greatest and most sensational scandal in the history of American politics.”
Sinclair weathered the scandal and then entered the years of the Great Depression shortly thereafter, the company found itself in a position to save a number of other petroleum companies from receivership or bankruptcy, and acquired others, to become one of the largest oil companies in the country.
During the Chicago World’s Fair of 1933 to 1934, Sinclair sponsored a major dinosaur exhibit that showed life-sized dinosaurs to attendees including a two-ton animated model of a Brontosaurus. For many it was their first time seeing 1:1 scale dinosaurs, and the exhibit proved so popular that Sinclair created a line of large brontosaurs models for Sinclair stations with moving heads and tails.
By 1955 Sinclair was ranked 21st on the Fortune 500 list. In the 1960s the company developed aircraft oils used in commercial jet aircraft, military jets, guided missile systems, and space rockets. The company is still in operation today after having been acquired by HollyFrontier in 2022.
This 1950s Sinclair Dino Supreme gas pump benefits from a full restoration back to how it would have looked when it was first installed at a gas station back in the 1950s. As mentioned above the lights all work, and it’s now due to be offered by Mecum in January.
If you’d like to read more about this unusual piece of American automotive history or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Images courtesy of Mecum
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