Pneumatic Grease Gun

The Alemite Company manufactured this pneumatically powered grease guns during the 1930s. An Alemite gun was designed to inject hard or soft grease quickly into a machinery bearing. (Regular greasing of such bearings was needed to prevent friction and bearing failure.) The pneumatically operated gun required a special Alemite "fitting," designed to mate tightly with the business end of the gun, to be installed at every location where grease was to flow from the gun to an internal bearing surface.
The gun, and the fittings, provided a tremendous labor-saving improvement over previous methods of greasing critical internal bearings. In a locomotive roundhouse, a greasing crew of two men could lubricate all the rod bearings of a given locomotive in 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of the locomotive) instead of the hours required previously. A large steam locomotive, running in heavy duty on a railroad, required rod greasing approximately every 100 miles. Such greasing was usually done at a terminal, when a fresh load of fuel was put into the tender and other servicing performed on the locomotive.
Date made
Alemite Company
overall: 7 1/2 in x 26 1/2 in x 4 3/4 in; 19.05 cm x 67.31 cm x 12.065 cm
ID Number
catalog number
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See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
America on the Move
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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