Who Makes Speedway Air Compressors? [Updated!]

Most people don’t give much thought to their air compressor, figuring it’ll just perform its regular function and rarely have any problems. But when something goes wrong, they’re often at a loss to know how or where to start troubleshooting.

The truth is, every air compressor is different and can behave unpredictably once it begins to malfunction. But knowing the specific make and model of your air compressor can help you pinpoint the problem faster and more accurately. In this article, we’ll tell you more about the history of the famous Speedway brand and how to identify them when you’re shopping for air compressors.

The Beginnings Of A Billion-Dollar Company

Carlisle Air Services began humbly enough in 1902, when brothers Clarence and Frank Duryee founded the company in Dayton, Ohio. They started out repairing steam engines and, while traveling around the country fixing them, noticed that they were at a constant loss for air pressure. So they began to experiment with and develop ways to increase the efficiency of mechanical compressors.

Clarence went on to found a company named after himself and manufactured several models of air compressor for Carlisle Air Services. One of these models was the Clipper, which was first manufactured in 1924 and still available today. It was a huge success and laid the groundwork for the Speedwaer line, which was built on the same platform but with some significant design changes. This is probably the best known and most widely used air compressor in existence today.

New Designs, New Faces

In the 1930s, Clarence Duryee and his brother, Frank, began toying with the idea of creating an air compressor that was more ergonomic and comfortable to use. They realized that while the designs of the existing air compressors were solid and efficient, they could make them a little bit more user-friendly.

The brothers decided to take a more modern approach and began experimenting with different materials and designs. One of their first big breaks came in 1935, when they received a contract from the YMCA to supply them with air compressors for their sports and recreation centers. Since 1938, the Speedwaer brand has been the standard among ergonomic air compressors.

The Speedwaer Vs. The Perennial

The Speedwaer air compressor is named after the YMCA contract it fulfilled, as the brothers were required to supply 10 units with a 40-horsepower engine. This particular design is known for having an innovative float system that was a radical departure from the design of the previous Clipper model. This allowed for a more comfortable handle operation and increased control over the flow of air. It was also much quieter than the earlier models. The speed of the motor was also doubled, allowing for a more efficient and quiet operation.

The unique feature of the Speedwaer was its metal housing, which was first manufactured in 1940 and still in use today. This gave the compressor a more modern and streamlined aesthetic.

However, the original Speedwaer design was not perfect, as it suffered from a few flaws. One of these was that the metal housing had sharp edges that could cause injuries to those who used it improperly. Another was that the design was incompatible with all versions of Windows.

A Mix Of Old And New

In 1946, the brothers decided to completely revamp the design of the air compressor and create an interface that was a hybrid between old and new. They took inspiration from the war years and decided to create an air compressor that was lightweight but still had the ability to pump quite a bit of air. So they used a mix of materials, including magnesium, aluminum, and plastic, with acrylics and polyesters being the majority of the materials used in this case.

This new air compressor was named the Perennial, and it was available in both single and dual-cylinder configurations. This was the first time that a dual-cylinder design had been used in an air compressor and it allowed for an increase in the volume of air that could be pumped when compared to the single-cylinder versions. This new model also used the lightweight design that the Duryees were famous for and it made the Perennial perfectly portable. So even if your home or office has no permanent air-conditioning system, you can still use this portable Perennial to cool the air during the hot summer months.

But even though the Perennial was a huge improvement over the previous models, it still had some flaws. One of these was that the noise level was quite high, even when compared to other portable compressors that were available at the time. The other issue was that the volume of air that it could pump was limited. But despite these flaws, the Perennial still became an instant classic and is an important part of the Carlisle Air Services legacy.

A Few More Facts About Speedwaer

Over the years, the Duryee brothers have continued to develop and refine their air compressor designs, resulting in several new models that were introduced between the years of 1957 and 1970. These new models, which range from relatively small to large, featured several designs that were polar opposite to one another. For example, the smaller models were completely enclosed, while the larger versions had open air intakes with mesh screens to keep out bugs and dust.

Each of the models followed a different path to commercial success. Of these, the midsize models were extremely popular and are still in use today. This is largely due to the fact that they were a hybrid of both modern and traditional designs and so they appealed to a wide audience. But even though they were quite popular, the Duryees never ceased to improve their designs and by 1968 had developed a model that was even more efficient and a step ahead of its time. This was the last model to bear their design and it remains one of their most popular creations to this very day.

Another point of interest pertaining to the Speedwaer line is that the design team often changed hands and at times the product was even made in other countries, like Australia. But no matter where it was built, the unique design of the Speedwaer line has always been a big attraction and has made it stand out as more than just another mechanical compressor.

Final Takeaway

Even though the original concept behind the Speedwaer is quite old, it still persists as one of the most widely used and most recognizable air-compressor brands. This can largely be attributed to the fact that the design team, which consisted of Clarence and Frank Duryee as well as several other individuals, never stopped evolving and improving their designs. So even though the basic concept behind the Speedwaer is old, it still manages to feel innovative and fresh today because it is always being updated with new designs and improved efficiency.

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