On this one I agree with DB - since it has no exterior paint left on it other than a tiny spot in the top corner of one skin, and it has no trace or echo, or any indication it was ever used retail and had any brand identity on it. I don't think finishing the exterior in skins Red, the top and base black, just like in the marketing materials, would be destroying any of it's original "historical value". In terms of monetary value, well, it may be worth more to some people in it's surface rust finish, and more to others shiny and pretty on the outside. If I do paint it, the interior will not be touched, I'll even tape off and cover the insides of the skins to preserve the original factory brownish/red primer that is still 99% perfect. Same with the inside silver paint still in great shape on the inside of the cast top. If it had original paint, color, decals - even a small amount left (or ever even there) I would 100% leave it for sure, as those things tell the story of it's history. I just don't think a micro layer of surface rust covering 100% of the exterior tell much of it's story, except that it was protected and well take care of for the last 78 years.
Plus I, personally, like the idea of dressing it up to display the story of the Pennsylvania Pump Co and the short lived Penometer brand. I know "Penometer" globe lenses likely never existed, other than as a drawing in a marketing piece, but I think creating a pair would be the perfect topper on this pump from a scare, little known company and make it tell a different story from the typical restored pump being something that displays what the Gas Co.'s marketing and branding teams used to promote their brand over another. From my research so far, some of the history of the Penn. Pump Co. is interesting to know, for example:
The inventor of the flow meter in my pump was very prolofic in his carrer with patents dating to the early 1920's and all the way though 1969/1970 for making flow and gas meters for another Pennsylvania based company that he worked for after Pennsylvania Pump Co drops off the map in the mid 1930's, and that company still exists today. In fact, if you live in a house that's 30+ years old or so, there is a good chance that the internal mechanics of the gas meter on the exterior of your house were, in part, designed by the same fellow that designed the Model 41 & R2 model Penometer pumps in 1929-1932. I know the meter on my 60 year old house here in Wisconsin (meter is obviously not that old) has some internal components based on the the patent numbers that were invented and filed by the same fellow that designed my 80 year old gas pump! The inventors name, unlike Westinghouse or Edison, his is not a well known name, but every man, women and child in this country has likely, at one point, used one of the products or components he designed over the last 70 years. I think connections like that are kinda cool to find, and my pump is going to tell those stories.
Ha!! - notice in all that I'm going from "selling" and "value" to "My pump" at the end... Guess that kinda decides it for me for now - it may have found a permanent home, at least until I fall in love with something else.
Someday soon I put online in it's own post the history and heritage I've dug up on the Penn. Pump. Co. and some of it's internal components, but as it might connect to your residential gas meter, here are the details:
If you have an older residential gas meter model, the most common being a R-200 & R-245 household gas meter, or a meter made by the company as it operated under it's various trade names and merger names in it's long 120+ year long history, it likely has parts in in designed by the maker of the much of the internals on the Penometer's (and I'm sure other makes of pumps as well) : Name history going backwards in time: Sensus, Invensys (as my meter is branded), Equimeter, Rockwell International, Rockwell Manufacturing, Equitable Meter/National Meter Company, and as it was known in late 1920's: Pittsburgh Equitable Meter Company, EMCO, Equitable Meter and Manufacturing Company, and going back to 1895: Pittsburgh Meter Company, and finally, 1886 The Safety Appliance Company, which was started by George Westinghouse, whose name you might also recognize as creating, among other things, our national grid of AC, Nikola Tesla, based power system over Thomas Edison's DC based system.