My memories on an obsolete automotive oil spout gadget #TBT

Posted By on September 3, 2020

I shared a question to a few of my automotive friends on a Twitter a few weeks ago … prior to my WordPress post disappeared due to a mysql crash (grrr!)

A question for #Millennials: What is this automotive “thing”
and how does it work?


So much of what we remember from our youth pops out later in life and well after we realize something is obsolete or no longer relevant. The above photo, for those born after 1980, is an oil can spout kept in my tool cabinet. QuakerStateOilSpoutThe one in the photo above was my personal favorite and fit in my back pocket when I worked at a full service Shell gas station at age 16. It was my first real job outside of grass cutting, commercial fishing and farm work. Most oil CAN spouts were of a solid funnel design and held a fair amount of oil in the tube that couldn’t be wiped out easily (see Quaker State can) .. but the one I kept could be kept clean and drip free after each use because the spout was open on the top.

  What is this sound?

ShellOilSignBack “in the day” cars and truck burned a lot more oil as engine wear and slop caused more crankcase oil to make its way into the cylinders (a lot more cylinders back then too). So checking and adding oil regularly was a job for pump-jockeys. At the Shell Station in Sidney Ohio, we were incentivized with a 25-cent per quart bonus for every “can” of oil we sold … a nice bonus on top of the $2.25/hr wage.


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.