1929 – Imperial Rome inspiration

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1929 – Imperial Rome inspiration

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Ever since its entrance in the field of roadside gasoline pumps, the Milanese company had established close relations with French producers, and adapted many of their technical and esthetic solutions.

One frequently encounters the names of the companies Satam, Arbox and Hardoll in the Bergomi designs of the period.

Another Italian company with transalpine relationships -in this case with Boutillon- was Siliam (Societa Impianti per Liquidi Infiammabili ed Apparec- chi Misuratori), born in Milan around 1928. Sais (Societa’ Anonima Impianti Sicurezza) was founded a few years later, also in Milan, thus completing the panorama of major pre-war Italian producers.

The classic Italian pump of 1925 has a “Roman” inspiration mediated through France.

The transalpine companies doing business with Bergomi (Hardoll and Satam in particular) were looking for inspiration in the splendors of the Imperial Rome, to the point that their tank trucks, used for mobile distribution, bore a certain family resemblance to Roman chariots.

The fixed pumps had a columnar base with pedestal, a tapered columnar body, and a capital upon which rested a large cylinder with double doors, which contained the pumping and measuring mechanisms.

Other French companies went to great esthetic pains, looking at least in part to American examples, designing slender and austere bases with conical or pillar-like shafts, dividing the housing for the mechanisms into various elements, and presenting the double vessels behind screens or protective cages.

These more elegant and sumptuous models became the characteristic French gas pumps; the others -the “Roman” type- inundated Italy instead.

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