Vacuum Oil Company—Pegasus (The Flying Red Horse)

Not too far from where I live there used to be a house on the side of the road where there was this huge Vacuum Oil Company flying red horse on top of a pump-up petrol bowser (that would be a “gasoline bowser” for my American readers) in the front yard. On various occasions I took a number of pictures of this red horse which was the symbol of the Vacuum Oil Company, which later became Mobil Oil.


Even though it was weathered and worn it was pretty impressive up there in the blue sky (with some clouds, in my picture above).

PegasusPost02This Pegasus had even more meaning to me because my father’s general store in the country sold Mobil petrol.

As a kid, probably from about 12 through to 15, I pumped petrol at my dad’s store after school and on Saturday mornings many times—hundred of times.

This was back when pumping petrol actually meant ‘pumping’ petrol.

You had to pump the petrol up into the tank at the top of the bowser using the long pump handle (which you can see on the side of the bowser in the picture).

You pumped the petrol up into the glass bowl at the top of the pump which was graduated in gallons. But, sadly, in the picture the glass bowl is broken.

Then you put the hose into the vehicle and dropped the release lever and the petrol drained from the glass bowl into the vehicle.

If you and/or the customer guessed the amount of gallons of fuel needed incorrectly then you would need to shut the fuel flow from the storage bowl off or spill fuel onto the ground.

The pump at my dad’s shop was a double-sided bowser with standard petrol on one side and ‘super’ on the other, so it was not exactly like the pump in the picture. But if you image two of these pumps joined together with a pump handle on either side and the filling slides on the sides rather than the front of the bowser then you would be getting close to the pump at my dad’s shop.

PegasusPost03I am not to sure why but this flying red horse, the Pegasus, was used by the Vacuum Oil Company and then Mobil Oil as its symbol up until about 1980 or thereabouts.

On a drive by of this house about three or four months ago I found out that the pump and the Pegasus had gone. As had various other ‘old time’ petrol pump signs and memorabilia that had been laying around in the vicinity.

This is what reminded me to put a note in my OneNote notebook for Abalook postings so I remembered to do a posting about this—although I had to find my pictures of it first.

I only hope that this pump and all the other old petrol pump stuff that was close by has gone to a good home and was not not trashed or destroyed.

I also hope it has gone somewhere that people can see it. If anyone happens to read this who knows where that might be then please either send me an e-mail or post a comment and let me know.