Who Invented the Supercharger?

As many of us are always in search of more horsepower, engine efficiency, and speed, it begs the question, who actually invented the Supercharger?


We found a great article from CarThrottle.com that does a really great job of explaining the history of the Supercharger. We were surprised that the technology dates back to about 1848. No, it wasn't on actual horses.


Here is an excerpt from the article. Please enjoy and be sure to visit their site for the full details.

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Who Invented The Supercharger And How Has It Changed?

Anyone with petrol running through their veins appreciates the joys of superchargers, but who’s responsible for inventing them and applying them to cars?

The supercharger is one of the greatest inventions ever to grace our beloved kingdom of petrolheads. It increases power and torque, it doesn’t restrict engine revs and at full chat a supercharger can sound apocalyptically good. Sure, there are drawbacks, but we love them with all our hearts.

Superchargers work by compressing the air flowing into an engine’s cylinders, forcing more air molecules into the combustion chambers that can then be mixed with more fuel for a vastly improved overall output. Mechanically driven from the crankshaft by belts, gears or chains, they run at speeds directly correlated to engine revs – and as such, there’s zero lag. They simply let a car punch you in the kidneys all the harder.

1935 Frazer Nash twin-supercharged single-seater1935 Frazer Nash twin-supercharged single-seater

So where did the supercharger, this blessing from petrol heaven, come from? The records show one G Jones of Birmingham in the English West Midlands having released a prototype supercharger in 1848 or 1849. It was what later became known as a Roots type after the design was made successful by the Roots brothers; Americans who patented it as an air pump for blast furnaces. As for cars, it was Gottlieb Daimler who, as with so many other things, first obtained a patent in 1885 for supercharging an internal combustion engine. He used the Roots design in a supercharged engine that eventually broke cover in 1900, making that design the oldest of the types still in use on four-stroke engines today. Others had beaten him to production by some distance with the first two-stroke engine in 1878.

Read the full article here.