Charles Pogue Carb.

updated 08/15/2016

the 200-mpg super carburetor

Pogue Carburetor

‘Big Daddy’ 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-carburetor system.”

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.

Note: That legend is mentioned in Rommel’s autobiography and there is some evidence of engineers witnessing the carburettors covered with sealed boxes so nobody knew what they were. (-

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

September 1953

” 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?”
“Several times.”
“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.

newspaper: Pogue carburetor being tested

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.

Now the general manager and part owner of a dingy second floor machine shop in Montreal which specialises in the production of oil filters and filter elements, Pogue is anxious to see if anyone will succeed where he did not.

Each time his story is “rediscovered” Pogue is swamped with mail from all 48 states, all provinces of Canada and at least 29 foreign countries. His fame is so widespread throughout the Dominium that a letter addressed to “Pogue, Canada” and mailed in San Antonio, Texas., once reached him in three days.

Although he is not in hiding ( the Montreal telephone directory lists his home address and telephone number). Pogue has a healthy dread of mail influxes which arrive at his home or office. Each mention of the carburetor seems to drive deeper his painful memory of the invention and his life with it.

newspaper: Pogue carburetor being tested – oil stocks decline

Pogue is reluctant to talk about his invention. He spoke to this reporter, “only because you’re from New York and you’ve come this distance. I haven’t seen a reporter or talked for publication in 14 years.”

When reminded that he was the central figure in a controversy which had never been been settled and further, that he was now a legend to a new generation Pogue said: “I don’t want to hear about that. I have nothing to gain by telling my story. If I knew I were to die tomorrow or if I were leaving the country, I would tell it…. and it is quite a story. I’m alive and this is my house…”He waved a tired hand in the general direction of downtown Montreal.

But, then, with prodding he admitted that his own automobile ran for ten years on one of his carburetors but he refused to divulge performance figures for that period. Further, he denied that he ever claimed that invention offered 200 miles to the gallon-or even half of that. When pinned down, however. Pogue refused to name the figure he claims has been “violently distorted by newspapermen and magazine writers.”

He admitted that when news of his invention first became public, he was approached by many people. ” 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?”

newspaper: Pogue carburetor being tested – oil executives put on a false front. Thefts and threats begin.

“Yes, several times.”
“Were you ever physically attacked?”
“Was your workshop broken into and models stolen?”
“Several times.”
“Were you ever the victim of political pressure?”

“What do you think? Say you’re a government official and you’ve got oil stock and my invention came along. What would you do? I had pressure from both Canadian and American politicians. One of your fellows, a big shot in Washington now, was one of them.”

“Will you name him?”
“Does automotive failure face all inventors of revolutionary new products?”

“No, providing they invent something easy to make. Now take a carburetor, one of the hardest things to make. I lost $100,000. My partner, that’s his picture up there, he lost $100,000. We spent over $20,000 just making dies. They’re all in the next room. We use them as junk.”

“Why didn’t you produce the Pogue carburetor?”
“Firstly, we couldn’t get materials, then distribution, then the war came along, then…”
“There’s a story which says you were bought off. Is this true?”
“The carburetor is still yours then until all patents expire?”

” Did you try to sell the rights to your invention?”

“Where? The companies buy from their own suppliers to make that double profit. What company would give this carburetor away? Change a little bit of chrome here and there, that’s all they do for competitive purposes.”

” Don’t you think the public would have bought your carburetor for installation on standard cars.”
“I don’t want to talk about it anymore”.

And that was the unsatisfying end of Charles Nelson Pogue’s first interview in 14 years, perhaps the last time Pogue will speak about his invention to anyone.

Earlier, in the two-and-a-half-hour interview, this information came to light:

Charles Nelson Pogue, tired and frightened, is hiding a great deal of information for no apparent reason that I can fathom. Although visibly moved when confronted with the picture of young inventors who might be aided by his experiences, he would not tell his story. Even when confronted with the fact that many readers would consider his refusal to speak a certain indication of fraud, he merely shrugged. He refused even to pose for pictures and threatened prosecution for invasion of privacy if photographs were taken against his will.

One emotional moment came when he was asked if his invention was dangerous. He leaped up, towered over his gadget-strewn desk and waggled his forefinger: “That’s nonsense. Gasoline will not explode unless it has oxygen. In my invention the gasoline was heated before it mixed with air. Its entirely possible many people misunderstood that, but my invention would never explode. Never!”

He also disclosed that the first rash of publicity brought letters of inquiry from governments of Italy and Canada and personal visits from representatives of Nazi Germany and Communist Russia. He hinted darkly at financial and political considerations offered to him by these governments but, when pressed for details, refused to continue.

Taking another tack. Pogue pointed out that the United States and Canadian patent offices hold thousands of carburetor patents which are superior to those in use. And yet they are never investigated by the manufacturers, according to him. In the same vein, he described the steam automobile as “the most practical vehicle ever designed” and asked why it has been discarded. He believes that if as much research had gone into steam propulsion as into the gasoline engine, all early objections to that form of locomotion could have been eliminated.

“Why?” he said, “Ask the companies why.”

He claimed he received a letter of invitation to submit his carburetor to the United States Government during World War II. Pogue wrapped up his invention and travelled to Washington, checked into a D.C. hotel. Although he flashed the letter, government officials refused to see him, finally ended by sending him to a test laboratory in a government building. There, Pogue found the man in charge to be a dollar-a-year engineer. His momentary puzzlement over the familiarity of the man was soon evaporated when he recalled that this individual had approached him in 1936 as an investor.

“Naturally,” Pogue commented on his Washington trip, “they kept me waiting around two weeks in my hotel room and ended by turning down the carburetor”

However, a letter written by a firm of Canadian attorneys to Alan Gooden, a young New Jersey resident who actually makes a living selling information about Pogue carburetor, pointed out that the Canadian Army had run tests on the Pogue carburetor during World War II and found that although mileage per gallon had been increased, that increase did not offset the tremendous loss of engine power which they encountered. Official Canadian sources, however, claim to know nothing of such tests.

Basically, the Pogue carburetor created no new principles of carburetion. Similar to an ordinary perfume-bottle atomiser, any carburetor mixes mixes a high percentage of air with small percentage of gasoline to create an explosive mixture. Generally the proportions runs 13 to 17 parts of air to one part of fuel. When mixed in the case of gasoline, falls instead of rises like other gases. Strangely enough, this fact was overlooked for years by manufacturers and all production carburetors were of the updraft type. t wasn’t until the early ’30s that downdraft carburetors were introduced.

During the late ’20s and early ’30’s so many fuel-saving devices were patented and placed on the market in the United States and Canada that the National Bureau of Standards in Washington created a special department to handle the testing of devises. For a fee of $35, the Bureau tested devises and informed their sponsors as to whether the claims made for the invention could be substantiated. The average claim for gasoline savings with this influx of gadgets was 25 per cent. Although Pogue’s claim made the others seem negligible by comparison, it still excited no undue comment until the first “personal testimonials” came out of Winnipeg in 1936.

Judging by today’s standards of what constitutes good mileage, the Pogue claims indicated a fantastic increase in one fell swoop. Is it possible?

There is a certain maximum economy mixture of gasoline and air ( generally conceded to be about 16 to 1). If a carburetor delivers this with the air, this is accepted as the best it can do. Actually, “the best” is possible only under ideal conditions. That is, a one-cylinder engine operating under a constant load-fluctuations in power would upset the entire mixing process.

The gas-air mixture going into the the multi-cylinder engine are not even. To give maximum gasoline mileage, any carburetor should be adjusted down to the leanest (least gas) possible mixture. But, if this is done, the mixture may become so lean in one or more of the cylinders far away from the carburetor, that those cylinders won’t fire at all. A richer mixture is generally offered for everyday use to make sure that every cylinder is receiving a proper amount of gasoline. In addition, a richer mixture offers better acceleration and slightly more power.

The matter of gasoline engines efficiency is one which has stumped automotive engineers since the advent of the horseless carriage. Because of the high power losses in the carburetor, in the exhaust gases, and low power factor at which engines work, gasoline has never been delivered its theoretical potential.

What, then, did the Pogue carburetor do to overcome these power losses and offer the mileage claimed?

Basically, the Pogue carburetor heated the gasoline before mixing it with the air. With this system, the inventor claimed that the imperfect mixing of gasoline in air ( which resulted in small unvaporised droplets of gasoline which do not explode, which burn slowly, unevenly and increase internal heat- all bad for performance and mileage ) was eliminated and every possible energy unit in the gasoline was being utilised.

To provide a perfect gas-air mixture for the engine, Pogue believed that a heating chamber was needed to thoroughly vaporise the gasoline before it joined the air stream and entered the cylinders.

Although automobiles do have a heating chamber built into the intake manifold, this chamber heats the gasoline and air mixture only after it leaves the carburetor Although this helps the automobile to start easier and warm up faster, it also creates an expansion of air and consequently, a smaller charge of air-gas mixture is drawn into the cylinder. Pogue decided that the only way to produce a real gasoline vapour was to heat the gasoline and not the air.

His first vaporising carburetor (1930) had a single chamber with hollow walls which allowed hot exhaust gases to circulate through the carburetor and warm the gasoline in the chamber. When heat ed the gasoline should turn to vapour. But there were no great claims made for this particular model.

Later, in 1935, Pogue turned up with an improved carburetor which featured two vaporisation of the gasoline. And this is the carburetor which started the oil-stock tumble.

Pogue admitted to little difficulty in starting the car however, for the gasoline was not warm until the exhaust gases reached it. So the first charge of gasoline going into the engine was far rawer than those later when it had been heated.

But with the exception of this one minor flaw, Pogue still believes his carburetor is completely practical.

So the mystery of the Pogue carburetor lies not in the devise itself, but in the semi-secret story surrounding its invention, development and eventual abandonment.

In a further effort to clear up some of the most controversial aspects of the case, CARS contacted R. Pepper, now editor of the Canadian Automotive Trade, the publication which originally printed some of the most sensational testimonials.

First, could CARS have a copy of the original article?.
“I am sorry but there are no back issues or photostats of the 1936 article on the Pogue carburetor available.”
What about the original reports which were printed? Were they true?
“The carburetor never was a practical success and the original report was entirely misleading as there was no expert ever tried it did give the mileage suggested in the article.

And then, as an added bonus, Pepper volunteered: “It might interest you to know-if you do not already know it- that it is impossible to get more than 45 imperial miles per gallon a 3000-pound standard production vehicle with a 100-hp engine under ordinary driving circumstances.”

Impossible? Not according to Charles Nelson Pogue.

Although he will not reveal his exact age, Pogue is not yet an old man. His face shows the strain of years and the back of his hands are latticed with a network of fine lines and veins which are the trademark of the man who dreams with his hands.


The full patent can be seen at



Alternatively, for detailed instructions on how to make your vehicle extremely fuel efficient ( to run your car on fumes ) see our page

Run your car on vapors

butterfly valve T fitting 2 inch diam flexible vinyl tubing

1-1/2 inch diam. in-line valve for $15
the T fitting: 1-1/2 inch diam. = $3
1-1/2 inch diam. vinyl tubing = $3/ft


Run Your Car On Vapors

Car gets 400+ MPG   John Weston

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Tom Ogle Carb.

Ogle in Argosy mag.

McBurney Super Carb.

A Hydrogen Generator You Can Build




  1. Hi, I would like to have the EP130. Are you selling it and at what cost? Do you have a specific website? Or do you have a hho kit that works 100% for a 2-3 l car? Can you deliver in Canada and what are the requirements?

    Can you put a little gasoline in the bottom of a gas can, and run you car on vapors? (see our “Run Your Car On Vapors” page)

  2. I’d never read the true story before, fascinating. Growing up in the fifties I had heard of Pogue and the 200 mile per gallon carburator but the story was that an oil company executive invited the inventor on a fishing trip and he was never heard of again! Amazing the information you can get on Google.
    – Ron Rich

  3. to William Sharper
    Who owns the rights, the patent ran out decades ago. it is public domain. – ted woodard

  4. The Bureau of mines says the lower flammability number for gasoline as a vapor is 3%.

    And you have no idea what the lower explosive number for gasoline as a vapor means. Would someone like to tell him? (see our page “Run Your Car On Vapors”)

  5. All this sounds great if oil companies do not snuff anyone with a great idea? Kent

  6. I have had my 350 c.i. 95 Chevy pickup running (at an idle only) with a mock-up version of Pogue’s carb. It ran so smooth a glass of water barely rippled on the air cleaner. Absolutely amazing
    Joe Barbuito


  7. I know of someone working on a similar idea. He has the needed patents. So far all motor vehicle people and companies are showing disinterest, or negative feedback . He will continue to make it work. This is today 11/31/14. Not from years ago.
    Mark J. Gordon

    The disinterest, or negative feedback should tell you that, unfortunately, those things have not changed. If you (and he) read our “Run Your Car On Vapors” page, where others have made it work also and are sharing their successes you will both see that is how things WILL change.

  8. this look 100% have you still got the blueprints (plans) for it

    Not a blueprint, a patent. His full patent with all its drawings is all over the internet.

  9. Why have automobile manufacturers not made this terrific selling point standard? I think oil co. owners bought controlling interest in auto co.s. Little guys, be brave, screw them & get rich before they dominate the fuel vaporizer industry themselves!

    “Based on talks with actual engineers that work at Ford and GM, these two companies have actively discouraged any improvements in fuel efficiencies. Engineers would be threatened if they were caught tinkering with the computer systems or searching for ways to make the car engines run more efficiently.”
    “CAFE standards were implemented in 1978 to force automakers to produce cars that get better mileage.”

  10. Hi, you came with the good idea you describe it nicely …

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