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See Homepage. This page: A handy American device to enable spill-free engine oil top-ups.


Just as the interest in motor-cars was enjoying a boom in the late 1910s and into the 1920s, so too was the need for equipment, tools and gadgets to maintain these impressive machines. One company that saw merit in the design and construction of garage equipment was E. Edelmann & Co., of Chicago, Illinois, USA. Their 1919 catalogue contains all manner of goodies, all attempting to woo both garage owners and private motorists alike. Two pages are given over to this neat invention, the Edelmann "Swing-Spout" oil measure and pourer. Available in one quart, one-half gallon, and one gallon capacities, it offered mess-free topping up of one's motor-car engine. So easy to use was it, apparently, that young Bobby - son of E. Edelmann himself - is shown using a Swing-Spout, to top up the engine of - his father's? - Packard. Mind the paintwork laddy.
Swing-Spout pourer in action
The description for the oil measure/pourer reads as follows:
"We show here the cleverest and most practical device ever offered to the car owner, garage and service station. One of the most unpleasant tasks in connection with operating a motor car is the feeding of oil in the crank case. All this is overcome and made pleasant by the use of the 'Swing Spout'. The 'Swing Spout' combines in one compact device: 1. An oil measure 2. Funnel and 3. Offset funnel. A glance at the picture tells the story."
"The construction of the 'Swing Spout' is such that it will not leak oil. A brass valve with ground seat controls the flow of oil."
"To operate the 'Swing Spout':- when not in use the spout is swung up and out of the way. This means that the valve is closed. First, fill the 'Swing Spout' can with oil to the desired level. Next, convey the can to the automobile, lowering the spout until it is in the second position. At this point the valve is still closed. The spout can now be pushed down, and the flow of oil regulated until the entire flow is attained. If the oil runs out too fast, it is a very simple matter to slightly raise the spout and thus restrict the opening. Anyone can operate the 'Swing Spout'."
"The 'Swing Spout' is furnished in three sizes. One Quart, One-Half Gallon, and One Gallon. It is made of heavy sheet metal, handsomely copperized and guaranteed not to leak. Attention is also called to the patented top which prevents the spilling of oil over the sides of the Measure."
Thousands of these Swing Spout Oil Measures are now in use and everyone who has seen or used one approves of the great need for such a device.
The price of such a measure? the smallest cost $2.25, rising to $3.00 and $3.75 for the larger versions.

Edelmann's factory, Chicago (Illinois).

Early in the catalogue there's shown a photo of the impressive building, in which the Edelmann company was located. It seems that they occupied the sixth floor of both the buildings in the picture, connected via a steel and concrete bridge. The buildings both proudly bear the legend "E. Edelmann & Co. - Automobile Specialties". It was located at 341 - 363 East Ohio Street, Chicago. There was also a New York branch office, at 1733 Broadway N.Y.C. Agencies were also held in San Francisco, Winnipeg, Havana, San Juan, Honolulu, Sidney [sic] and Melbourne. East Ohio street today mainly comprises towering high-rise office blocks, although a few older buildings can be found tucked away amongst the more modern structures. Edelmann's building appears to have been long-since demolished however.
The Edelmann factory in Chicago, Illinois
Read about other tools and equipment, such as the British-made AMLO Oil Dispenser, in the gadgets and accessories section.

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