1930 – Bergomi production


1930 – Bergomi production

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Bergomi’s contribution to the stylistic history of gasoline pumps was the continuous refinement of the profile and the decorative elements of the columnar base, while the upper part, the cylinder with doors, remained monotonously the same.

When Siliam and Sais arrived on the market, the esthetic of the pumps didn’t change drastically, but there were a few new variations on the profile of the column.

One innovative contribution was made by Agip which, a few years after its founding, provided the builders with a drawing of a colonnina with a rectangular cabinet as a base.

Bergomi, it must be said, also had creative moments or at least it tried to stretch itself in different directions to accommodate the requests of its clientele.

One surprising case, always in the Roman vein, is that of a pump conceived for Nafta’s more prestigious locations along the first superhighways.

If the typical pump merely suggests the idea of a column, these incredible exemplars -more than nine feet high and crowned with a lighted globe- truly capture the spirit of an imperial column.

Some Bergomi designs combined their rectangular roadside armadi with classicizing friezes that were more suitable for living room furniture; others show interesting column-pilasters of square section inspired by the characteristic German pumps which were built at the beginning of the Thirties for the Societa’ Anonima Italiana Petrolea (est. 1927) whose network, a bit later, was taken over by Fiat.

One Bergomi design from 1928 documents the attempt to leave the vessels in view and to house the pump and counter in a small cylindrical body, with the classic columnar base still intact and the extremely elaborate lighted globe making a lovely spectacle of itself.

More interesting from this point of view -though not up to the level of the French examples- is a pump produced for Fiat in 1931: the column is very slender with a simplified profile, the upper cylinder is rendered more compact, and the whole appears decidedly more refined.

For the most part, the five-liter Italian gasoline pumps were honest industrial products designed to function and to last.

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