Saturday, February 1, 2020

Surface carburetor

Before Wilhelm Maybach's float and needle-jet carburetor of 1893 entered common usage, this was the carburetor. A sheet metal box half full of gasoline was attached to the intake of the engine. the air was sucked in the air inlet down the chimney across a sheet metal surface. This moving air picked up gasoline vapour, the mixture then continued past the throttle valve and on into the engine. A pipe from the engine exhaust aided evaporation and the rider fiddled with the air and throttle valves trying to keep the engine going. Talk about distracted driving!


JP said...

Trying to make sense of it, doesn't the diagram legend seem wrong ?
I would think "air inlet" is the fuel supply, equipped with a float to match the fuel level to that of the plate.
The cylinder on top then looks like a mixing chamber with air inlet control on the left, and engine manifold control on the right (?).

Mister G said...

You may be right as that does look like a float at the bottom of the chimney, though if that was not the air intake what would direct the air to pass down over the surface of the fuel? But I do not see any other provision for keeping the fuel level up. I’ll look further into this.Thanks!

JP said...

Aaah, I was wrong thinking the tank was a float bowl, it is THE TANK, and the plate can be adjusted up or down. More here:
This is great, keep them coming Mr G !

Mister G said...

Thanks! Looks like the drawing I posted is the same De Dion device. That must be a simplified drawing, there is no fuel filler shown and the air inlet doesn't indicate that it can be adjusted for fuel level. Still it must have worked after a fashion. The article mentions that fuel was more volatile then.

userbronco said...

I think the Wright brothers first plane had this kind of primitive carb.