Updated on Monday, May 24, 2010 in Technical Innovations
the 200-mpg carburetor
Don Garlits, a drag racing legend, poses Aug. 2, 2002, with a 125-miles-per-gallon Pogue Carburetor at Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, Ocala, Florida.”
photo by Bruce Ackerman, Star Banner, 2002
In Dec. 12, 1936 Canadian Automotive Magazine states that the standard carburetor gets about 25 mpg at only 9% efficiency. Therefore the Pogue carburetor is 72% efficient overall at 200 mpg.
“A carburetor that would allow a car to travel 200 miles on a gallon of gas caused oil stocks to crash when it was announced by its Canadian inventor Charles Nelson Pogue in the 1930s. But the carburetor was never produced in enough volume, and mysteriously, Pogue went overnight from impoverished inventor to the manager of a successful factory making oil filters for the motor industry. Ever since, suspicion has lingered that oil companies colluded to bury Pogue’s invention.”
see “Frank” and “16 year ago …” below.
“In 1933 Charles Nelson Pogue made headlines when he drove a 1932 Ford V8, 200 miles on a gallon of gas during a demonstration conducted by The Ford Motor Company in Winnipeg, Manitoba using his super-carb system.”
Charles Pogue Carb.
In early 1936 Breen Motor Company, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada tested the Pogue carburetor on a Ford V-8 Coupe and got 26.2 miles on one pint of gasoline (That’s 200+ mpg).. The performance of the car was 100% in every way. Under 10 mph the operation was much smoother than a standard carburetor. T.G. Green, President of the Breen Motor Company did the tests.
Winnipeg’s largest automobile dealers tested the Pogue carburetor and got results of up to 216.8 mpg! In 1945, according to an unnamed source, carburetors marked “POGUE CARBURETOR, DO NOT OPEN” were used on American Army tanks throughout WWII but were removed from circulation after the war ended.
In fact, many people attested to these mileage claims as The Pogue Carb went into production and was sold openly. [see Don Garlitz, above] However, one of the crucial factors of these systems is the use of “white” gasoline, which contained no additives. It was at this time oil companies started adding lead to the fuel. Lead is an anti-catalyst that rendered Pogue’s carburetor as inefficient as a regular carb. His invention caused such shock waves through the stock market, that the US and Canadian governments both stepped in and applied pressure to stifle him.
In the opening months of 1936, stock exchange offices and brokers were swamped with orders to dump all oil stock immediately.
After my dad had sent me that copy of the Pogue Carburetor patent, and while I was working on my plans, an old retired gentleman with whom I was acquainted, came into my shop, and began to tell me of his experiences. He had been a machinist somewhere in Minnesota I think, when a French Canadian came to the shop. The Canadian had invented a carburetor, but was having trouble with it vapor locking. The machinist designed a valve for him that solved the problem. While the machinist was talking, he kept saying, “Oh, what was his name? Oh, what was his name?” I finally ask him, “Was that valve shaped like a rod split in half?” He looked at me in amazement, “Why, yes! How did you know?” I asked another question, “Was his name Pogue?” Then the old man was really amazed that I knew. I showed him the copy of the patent that I had, and he was really excited. He went over the papers like an excited child.
The old machinist went on to tell me how several months or was it several years later he had to take some paperwork up to the main office. He had to go through the conference room where he saw Mr. Pogue in the midst of a bunch of oil company big wigs. He named the wigs, but I forget the names. They were heads of Texaco, Shell, Esso, etc. Some of them had red faces, and Mr. Pogue looked like a trapped rabbit. Of course the machinist was very interested as to what was going on, but he knew he wasn’t supposed to be there, so he went on his way.
Later, one of the office boys came down to the shop, and told the machinist, “Hey, you know that Pogue guy that you made that valve for? Well, he sold that carburetor, and plans, lock stock and barrel to the oil company guys. They had a black man carry the whole thing down and put it into the trunk of a Pierce Arrow, and he drove off. That had been the last he had heard or seen of it until I showed him those patent papers.
Lead was added [at that very moment] to gasoline to [stop Pogue and] prevent anyone else from building such a device, since lead leaves heavy deposits and clogs these types of units, rendering them ineffective due to the inability to transfer heat to the fuel.
Also, see Tom Ogle:
Tom Ogle of El Paso Texas , a 24 year old mechanic drove 200 miles in a 1970 351 ci. Ford on 2 gallons of gas. Other mechanics and engineers checked for hidden tanks, none were found. Reporters and a camera crew went with him 100 miles out and back; 200 miles 2 gallons. He claimed from the beginning that he did not know exactly how the system worked, just that it did and he proved it time and again.
16 years ago Charles Nelson Pogue, invented the 200-mpg carburetor
” A lot of them said they were inventors and wanted to buy stock, wanted information, wanted controlling interests. I later found out most were from oil companies.”
“Were you ever threatened, Mr. Pogue?”
“Yes, several times.”
“Was your workshop broken into and models stolen?”
“Were you ever the victim of political pressure?”
“What do you think? … I had pressure from both Canadian and American politicians. One of your fellows, a big shot in Washington now, was one of them.”
In the opening months of 1936, stock exchange offices and brokers were swamped with orders to dump all oil stock immediately.
Pogue and his carburetor have become world-wide legend
This is the year the last of the Pogue patents run out.
In Montreal today, a tired, resigned man goes about his work, trying to forget the past. He hopes to brush from his memory the fact that 16 years ago he panicked the Toronto Stock Exchange, threw a fright into major oil companies, upset manufacturers of carburetors and captured the immediate, unflagging interest of every motorist in the world.
His name is Pogue. Charles Nelson Pogue. automotive engineer. His moment of glory, his claim to fame lies in his invention of an automobile carburetor Its principle was supposed to be a delayed mixing process that produced a more gaseous charge of fuel and delivered upwards of 200 miles per gallon of standard gasoline.
Or so some people say. And this is the year the world may discover the truth. For this is the year of the Pogue carburetor – the year the last of the Pogue patents run out.
Shrouded in the vagueness of time and forgotten document. Pogue and his carburetor have become world-wide legend. Whenever automotive minded people get together, whether they be technical brains or garden-variety motorists, the talk sooner or later turns to “that man from Canada who invented the 200-mpg carburetor” Sunday newspaper supplements and syndicated columnists perennially rediscover the item and wonder about rumours that Pogue was kidnapped, murdered, beaten, bought off.
Wonder no longer.
For the first time in 14 years Charles Nelson Pogue spoke to a reporter. I am that reporter and this is his story.
In the opening months of 1936, stock exchange offices and brokers were swamped with orders to dump all oil stock immediately. Imperial Oil of Canada, for instance, suffered a six-point drop. Why? Well, during June and July of the previous year, it was rumoured that a small eight-cylinder coupe fitted with a mysterious carburetor had driven from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Vancouver, British Columbia- a distance of 1,879.5 miles- on 14.5 gallons of gasoline for an overall average of around 130 miles per gallon!
This was not the first time however, that the carburetor had made news. Since Pogue had started on the invention some 17 years before (about the send of World War I) and there had been earlier impractical models, Pogue had created whispers throughout the North American continent. Oil men snickered at the idea and most motorists laughed off the news of the invention as just another illogical contraption.
However, in 1936 the manager of one of Winnipeg’s largest automobile dealerships was reported in the authoritative Canadian Automotive Trade to have said: “Today I drove a coupe with the Pogue carburetor 216.8 miles on an imperial gallon of gasoline (roughly the equivalent of a gallon and a fifth in the United States ). The car performed perfectly in every respect… I was able to throttle it down to one mile an hour and the car pulled along smoothly and steadily.”
The president of a leading automotive agency in the same area (which was Pogue’s original home and birthplace of the invention) was quoted by the Schrader Service News of Brooklyn, N. Y., for summer, 1936 as saying; “I made a test today of the Pogue carburetor installed on an eight cylinder coupe. The speedometer showed that the car had run over 8,000 miles. I drove the car 26.2 miles on one pint of gasoline. The performance was 100 per cent in every way.”
An engineer in a Canadian automobile plant was quoted as saying: “At the time of testing we covered 25.7 miles on one pint of gasoline.”
In addition to these personal testimonials, other articles appeared in the daily press and automotive trade journals about better idling, faster pickup and in one case, a test car which was kept in an unheated garage during a cold Canadian winter offered no starting difficulties during a cold Canadian winter offered no starting difficulties during the entire period.
Overwhelming controversy met these testimonials. The December 12, 1936, issue of Automotive Industries said: “It stated that on the announcement of these results (216 miles per imperial gallon ) the stocks on the Toronto Exchange took a tumble, that men of great wealth or powerful political connections are financing the development, and that the inventor’s laboratories have been broken into in two different instances and working models were stolen…it is added that the stolen models were incomplete…if the inventor could substantiate the claims, the consequences would be most important …fails to show any features hitherto unknown in carburetor practice and absolutely gives no warrant for crediting the remarkable results claimed… we shall remain exceedingly sceptical.”
Other articles at the time said that the carburetor was too impractical for use in the ordinary course of driving because it was dangerous. These writings pointed out that the Pogue carburetor was liable to explode at any time.
Scores of carburetion experts and oil company engineers made public pronouncements on the impossibility of the sevenfold increase claimed by the Pogue invention. One oil company engineer even pointed out that gasoline did not, nor never could, contain that high a percentage of explosive power.
But the fact remains that Charles Nelson Pogue was the holder of some five American and seven Canadian Patents issued to him between 1928-1936. The Canadian Patent Office lists the first patent for an improvement in carburetion as filed on April 3, 1928 and the last on June 23, 1936. The first United States patent was issued on March 11. 1930. from an application filed August 20. 1927. and the last was issued on January 7. 1936. Since the life span of a patent is 17 years, Pogue’s last legal claim to his controversial carburetor runs out this year.
Columnist E. V. Durling wrote in a 1949 column. “Some organisations make a practice of waiting 17 years for a patent to expire and then start to manufacture the patented article… that brings to mind that there was patented in the United States in the early 1930s a carburetor said to make it possible for an automobile to travel from 150 to 200 miles on one gallon of gasoline…it has never reached the market. However, the patent on it expires in a few years, I can hardly wait to see what happens then.”
Neither can Charles Nelson Pogue.
The Preview 2002 issue of Electrifying Times featured an article about gasoline vapor injection systems for automobiles that allow 100-200 mpg. These high mileage systems have been around for 50 years but the technology has been suppressed and kept secret. Vapor injection patents have been bought out by major auto and oil companies. A revived emergence of this technology is surfacing, due to limited oil supplies resulting in increased gas prices. The computer age has allowed refined vapor injection technology to reach new levels. 150 mpg vapor injection prototype systems are secretly being installed in various vehicles around the US. Here is an excerpt of the article. For the full story, send away for the Preview 2002 back issue of Electrifying Times and receive the most comprehensive story ever printed on the history of vapor injection systems.
RUNNING ON VAPOR
By Bruce Meland,
Editor and Publisher of Electrifying Times
It is an often a misconception that most vehicles burn gasoline vapors in their internal combustion engines. The fact of the matter is, gasoline powered vehicles burn finely divided particles or droplets that are sprayed from the carburetor or fuel injectors, into the engine cylinders.
This is a very wasteful process of converting gasoline or diesel to energy. Maybe 20-30 % efficiency at most. It has been known and demonstrated for 60 or more years that burning gasoline vapors will give easily 5 times the mpg and near zero emissions. Actually if the vapors are heated to the necessary temperature of 450 degrees F, the gasoline vapors are actually fractionalized by catalytic cracking and converted to smaller light molecular hydrocarbons, methane and methanol. In my travels around the world I have been in contact with some very informed inventors, relatives or associates of inventors who have known of many high mileage low emission vapor carburetors. I am sure many of you have heard of the Pogue, Covey, and Fish high mileage carburetors.
I recently decided write about my experiences and investigations of high mileage vapor carburetors because they produce less and almost near zero emissions. Lets be realistic, the best and fastest way to clean up the vehicle air pollution problems in congested cities involves the encouragement of the automobile and oil companies to bring out of the closet the many designs and patents of high mileage carburetors and injection systems. Using computer regulated technology, these patents can be upgraded to work much better.
The gas prices are going up, more cars are on the road, and more cities are experiencing extreme vehicle exhaust pollution. Lets raise the price of gas and sell the same amount of gas, (due to rapid increase of car population) and let the car get 100 mpg with near zero emissions. This would help preserve fossil fuels for many generations to come and help clean up the planet in a short period of time.
A crash program to install vapor carbs and injection systems on the 600 million vehicles world wide would be a quick and clean way to make cities more livable world wide, and reduce serious health effects such as respiratory congestion and cancer. In fact, the development of Electric Vehicles, Hybrid Electric Vehicles and Fuel Cell vehicles are not proceeding at a fast enough pace to make a dent cleaning up the air in most cities. The auto population explosion world wide is frustrating motorists, city transportation planners, and road maintenance departments. In the Unites States highway building and maintenance funds are not keeping up with the auto explosion.
The Japanese call the U.S. “The Car Society”. The auto explosion is also causing the increased rate of the build-up of harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases and hence global warming and increased incidences of severe weather. The internal combustion engine is considered as the greatest emitter of greenhouse gases worldwide. When one considers there are 200 million vehicles running the streets, highways, and freeways here in the U.S. and a total of 6-700 million vehicles world wide, then the urgency of drastic cleanup measures seems evident.
Now for the rest of the story! In 1936, according to widespread news accounts, Charles Pogue equipped a Ford V8 coupe that reportedly got over 200 MPG. In the summer of 1935 he drove the V8 Ford from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada to Vancouver B.C. Canada. He got 1879.5 miles on 14.5 gallons of gasoline. A standard carburetor used 106.5 gallons on the same trip. Did these tests actually take place?.. Did Charles N. Pogue sell-out? Ray Covey, who contacted the Pogue family, said that John Pogue, Charles’s cousin, stated in a recent taped interview, that “Pogue Carbs were installed in some U.S. tanks and Jeeps in North Africa, during WWII.”
It’s all in the Electrifying Times Preview 2002 issue. By being informed you can help clean up the planet! Subscribe and order back issues