Gasoline Alley Museum

Gasoline Alley Museum located at Heritage Park in Calgary, Alberta, is a “must see” if you are in the area. This museum is open year round. The historical village portion of Heritage Park is open mid-May to October. I will do a separate post on the historical village portion of the park. This post contains a lot of photos, so it may take some time to load if you have internet issues.

The museum contains antique cars, trucks, gas pumps and signage from petroleum companies. All of the items were donated from a local businessman, Ron Carey. In talking with one of the docents working in the museum, they received about 1/3 of his collection of vehicles. He also stated they believe the museum houses the largest collection of gas pumps in Canada.

Our friends that we are traveling with, Karen and Al Phillips, found the ”Phillips” gas pump.

The green vehicle on the right is a 1937 Terraplane “Big Boy” Pickup, featuring a waterfall grill. A 1912 Buick Model 2-A Express Truck is to the left.

The rear view of the trucks.

This is a 1924 unrestored International Truck that was found rusting away on a farm. It has been left as they found it.

The first outdoor gasoline pump was invented by Sylvanus Bowser. In 1905, the “Bowser Self-Measuring Gasoline Storage Pump,” a metal tank inside a wooden cabinet with a flexible hose and manual suction pump, was put into service. The Shell tank below is a model from 1911.

1911 pump with 1950s model in rear

The first pumps were called “pre-visible pumps” since customers could not see what they were buying.

In 1915, “visible pumps” were invented. Gas was pumped from an underground storage tank into the “visible” glass tank, so customers could see what and how much they were buying. Apparently people felt they were getting cheated by the gas companies, so this solved the problem. 100 plus years later, people still feel cheated by the gas companies!

Visible pumps

Clock-faced pumps began appearing in the 1920’s that were faster and more accurate than the visible pumps. A bell rang with every gallon dispensed, and the dial would show the total amount pumped.

Clock-faced pumps

In 1934, the computer pump was invented. It would “compute” the total sale in dollars and gallons.

Computer pumps

A rare, fully restored 1926 Shell Tanker fuel delivery truck with a 500-gallon fuel tank and 12 5-gallon fuel cans.

1919 Oldsmobile 3/4 Ton Truck. Trucks like these were very popular with farmers and delivery companies.

1927 GMC Sedan Delivery Vehicle. The Imperial Bank of Canada had a fleet of maroon vehicles. This one was used to deliver packages.

1956 Plymouth Sport Suburban Station Wagon. The lighting doesn’t really show how bright pink this vehicle is. I think every person walking by said “wow, that’s really pink!”

1931 L-29 Cord, a popular front-wheel drive car.

1932 Auburn with a 6.4-liter V12 engine.

1905 Cadillac, found in an abandoned gold mine in Northern California. It was likely a Model E Runabout that was converted by a prospector into a truck. It has been preserved to the condition it was found in.

Front and rear photos of a 1915 Cadillac that was retrofitted in 1922 as a tow truck.

A 1908 Mitchell. The MItchell Motor Car Company was located in Racine, Wisconsin. We are both from Wisconsin, but I had never heard of the company until I saw this vehicle.

The museum has an extensive collection of signs.

Below, on the left is a 1909 McIntyre Model M high wheel runabout. A 1911 Model 49 Overland is on the right.

On the left is a 1918 Chevrolet 490 (named for it’s selling price of $490). It was designed to compete with the Ford Model T. The maroon vehicle is a 1922 Gray-Dort Model 19-B, produced in Chatham, Ontario.

Two photos of a 1933 Diamond T Brewery Truck Model 210-FF. Diamond Ts were considered to be the ”Cadillac of Trucks” based on their performance and construction.

The green vehicle is a 1945 Federal Dump Truck that could hall four yards. The red vehicle is a 1941 Chevrolet 1 1/2 ton Tow Truck.

A rare 1949 Endor Pixie Motorized Bicycle, with a two speed gearshift on the left handlebar and a twist grip throttle on the right. It had a top speed of 26 mph.

Front and rear photos of a 1928 Ford AR Roadster Pickup. This was a Canadian built model, because both the driver and passenger doors open. Fords built in the US had no drivers door that opened, to prevent drivers from stepping out and into traffic. In Canada, some provinces drove on the right, and some on the left, up until the 1940s. So two functional doors were needed.

This was just a wonderful museum. There is such a variety of vehicles on display, in various conditions. My photos are only a fraction of what they have on display here. If you are in the Calgary area, make sure to stop in – you won’t regret it.

Quote of the Day: “The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it.” – Dudley Moore

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