A makeshift device placed in the handle of an automatic nozzle to hold the nozzle in the open position.
When self-service marketing of gasoline was originally introduced, fire safety codes prohibited use of automatic nozzles equipped with a factory installed hold open latch. The aim of this prohibition was to make sure that a motorist would keep his or her hand on the nozzle handle during the entire fueling operation.
It soon became apparent, however, that motorists would improvise as they would wedge some objects, including cigarette lighters and pocket knives, between the nozzle handle and the handle guard. Thus keeping the nozzle flowing, even when the operator’s hand was removed. The use of such objects constituted a safety hazard.
Today, fire safety codes do not generally prohibit use of factory installed hold open latches on automatic nozzles used in self-service stations.