September 2, 2016 - 12:01 AM EDT
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U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature for September 2: Pumping Gas

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is the daily "Profile America" feature from the U.S. Census Bureau:

U.S. Census Bureau Logo.


Profile America — Friday, September 2nd. A device that many of us line up to use every few days or weeks was first unveiled this month in 1885 — the gas pump. Sylvanus Bowser of Fort Wayne, Indiana made the pump for a customer to dispense a single barrel of fuel for lamps and stoves. As one might expect, the advent of automobiles spurred the development, popularity and distribution of the gas pump. Eventually, the inventor's name became a generic term for a fuel dispenser, and gas pumps in New Zealand and Australia are still called a "bowser." Across the U.S., there are more than 111,000 gas stations doing over a half-trillion dollars worth of annual business. Each year, the pumps at these stations dispense nearly 170 billion gallons of gasoline and special fuels, including diesel. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at

Sources: Kane's Famous First Facts, 4410
First use, capacity and term "bowser"/accessed 6/28/2016: 
Gasoline stations/NAICS 447: 
Gas station receipts/NAICS 447:

Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotion of the U.S. Census Bureau. Statistics and accounts drawn from cited non-Census sources are employed for illustrative or narrative purposes, and are not attested to by the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on the Internet at (look for "Audio" in the "Library" pull-down menu). 

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SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau

Source: PR Newswire (September 2, 2016 - 12:01 AM EDT)

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