Jason Clarke Antiques

Thompson Brothers Aircraft Refueller Fuel Measuring Gauge


For sale, a rare fuel measuring dip gauge for a Thompson Brothers aircraft refueller.

This unusual early aviation artefact would have accompanied the Thompson Brother’s three wheeled aircraft refueller which was created in 1935 for servicing fuel to light aircraft and was used during World War II and beyond. About twenty examples of this vehicle remain in museums and private collections across the world including The Yorkshire Aviation Museum and Brooklands Museum in the UK.

The gauge is comprised of brass 138cm long square body with an engraved scale measuring from zero to three hundred and a line above stating the initials MH, presumably denoting the maximum. The top flat end of the gauge is further impressed with the maker’s name Thompson Brothers Bilston Limited and the logo of the Shell petrol company. It has the numerals 05 and 62 to the edge.

The firm of Thompson Brothers has a history dating back to the early nineteenth century and for most of the that century were manufactures of steam boilers and other industrial fabrication until the onset of World War One where they became involved in the manufacture of aircraft parts. Following the war, the company involved itself in the newly created industry for cyclecars and saw some success until the cost of the four wheeled motor car was reduced low enough to crush its competition.

Using its experience in three wheeled vehicles, Thompson Brothers refocused its business strategy on the aviation industry and the Thompson refueller became a familiar sight across aerodromes throughout World War II and beyond.

The company remained trading under the family name until at least the 1960’s but was eventually incorporated into the Northern Engineering Industries Group.

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