A MOTORIST who passes through the little town of Chateauroux, in central France, may stop and fill his gasoline tank at one of the strangest filling stations in the world. The owner, with an eye to attracting trade, has fashioned a housing for his filling pump in the shape of a monstrous elephant with upraised paw. The customer receives the desired number of liters (a French measure slightly larger than a quart) from a hose drawn out of the elephant’s leg. Since the site marks the intersection of several highways, the elephant station has attracted attention and is always busy.

  1. Village Idiot says: June 4, 20079:57 am

    I guess liters have shrunk since 1933, since they are now slightly smaller than a quart. Must be from evaporation…

  2. Charlie says: June 4, 200710:10 am

    I don’t think that’s true. According to Google a liter is 1.0566882 quarts. I do think it’s crazy that they had to explain what a liter is though.

    I remember hearing a comedy routine about how the only good thing to come out of the drug war was that it taught our kids the metric system.

  3. Blurgle says: June 4, 200710:16 am

    1 litre = 1.0566882 U.S. quarts
    1 litre = 0.87987663 Imperial quarts

    So whether a litre is larger or smaller than a quart depends on whether you’re American or not.

  4. Stannous says: June 4, 20079:00 pm

    I guess even in France the oil companies are associated avec le GOP.

  5. Village Idiot says: June 5, 20077:38 pm

    Popular Science is an American publication, isn’t it? The writer must’ve consulted a British conversion table then!

    And going the other way, “monstrous” has gotten bigger and scarier than it used to be, unless it was the metric version of monstrous, which is only a fifth as monstrous as the American standard definition.

  6. jayessell says: June 5, 20078:05 pm

    Nobody mentions that the gasoline should come out of the elephants’ trunk?

  7. Blurgle says: June 6, 20075:16 am

    No, if a litre is 1.05 US quarts that means it is “slightly larger than a [US] quart”, just like the article said.

    The litre is slightly smaller than an Imperial quart, but it is larger than a US quart.

  8. Village Idiot says: June 6, 200712:43 pm

    Well, that’s why my wife makes me post under this name. We are all sometimes stricken with cranial flatulence…

    I’m right about the word “monstrous” though, and the GOP comment was funny, but to be really honest the elephant would have to pump the gas in at the rear of the car (like the cars where the tank was accessed from behind the license plate) out of a different appendage than either his leg OR his trunk.

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