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The world right now is covered in pollution caused mainly by industries that aim to provide the populace with a "better life." This is perhaps one of the greatest ironies.
But, who is to blame? Is it the people behind such industrial pursuits or those who rely on the output of such endeavors? If you put things in perspective, it makes sense. Everyone is part of the problem.
It’s encouraging that many have been trying to solve the said environmental dilemma. Unfortunately, only a few solutions so far have had a substantial impact. Some are even starting to believe that winning against pollution is impossible.
One of these problem solvers is Tom Ogle—a person who dreamt of changing the world by following in Charles Nelson Pogue’s footsteps, attempting to invent a life-changing car part.
Pogue invented the miracle carburetor, or, more specifically, the Winnipeg Carburetor. It’s a carburetor for cars, but unlike the common ones, it was said to make car travel 200 miles per gallon.
Although the invention made a lot of buzz in the 1900s, no tests or demos were done. A lot of people during that time believed that Pogue’s invention was a hoax.
And eventually, it was forgotten—that is until Tom Ogle decided to, in part, resurrect the idea. He made a carburetor similar to Pogue's, but This was said to run at a more modest 100 miles per gallon.
Wait? From 200 to 100 miles per gallon? Did he just cut the number by half? Questions like this were common. There were doubts about the carburetor’s capability, but he made sure it would do what it’s meant to do.
Like any inventions, Tom Ogle’s engine started from something simple—a lawnmower. He told reporters how he messed up the mower’s fuel tank and connected the carburetor from the tank with a vacuum line.
He knew he had to make use of his discovery and proceeded to use it in a car. Tom Ogle tried his invention with a 1970 Ford Galaxie, and it worked like magic. It became so popular that scientists became interested as well.
The modified Galaxie eventually became known as the Tom Ogle Car, also known as “Oglemobile”. Scientists searched it for hidden engines but failed to see even one. When the initial demo worked, they were astonished.
The car was the first of its kind. It was the invention that would have changed the world and could have had a lasting effect. After all, who wouldn’t want a car powered by vaporized gasoline that could run 100 miles per gallon?
But, how did it work, though? Did he change the entire structure of the engine? The answer is NO. The Tom Ogle Engine had a black box filter where vaporized gasoline was injected directly into the combustion chambers.
These chambers were known as the Ogle Gas Vapor Engine. The Tom Ogle Car had a vapor fuel system. As time passed, many of his naysayers became his fans. Even the US government was amazed by his invention.
Though there were people who doubted the capabilities of the Tom Ogle Car, you couldn’t blame them from having that thought. But, these doubters were also the reason why his invention became appealing to the crowd.
He later found himself courted by large oil companies, and people thought he could have easily been a millionaire at a very young age. Admittedly, at this point of the story, you'd think the same.
One particular funder, named C.F Ramsey, had an agreement with Tom Ogle. Ramsey agreed to give Ogle $5,000 a month plus extra for his research and development, in exchange for the right to distribute the Tom Ogle Car.
This meant that everything Tom Ogle had was owned by C.F Ramsey, as part of their agreement. It was a win-win situation for both parties though if the invention had been manufactured globally.
Ogle’s ambition after attaining such was to establish a nationwide diagnostic center for automobiles. It was a dream that would ensure that his invention would reach the far ends of the country.
Tom’s idea did not just call the attention of fans and enthusiastic funders, but also those who felt threated by his Oglemobile.
If you were running those large car manufacturing firms or oil companies, you would have felt the same thing towards the discovery. You wouldn’t want an invention capable of shutting down your whole company.
Just like how Tom Ogle rose to unbelievable heights, his fall was equally shocking. With the closure of his first car center, his monthly checks also stopped coming.
He never received a single penny because a new engine similar to what he owned was under heavy research. An oil company bought the design and soon wiped out all of Tom’s offerings.
This was done to ensure that no one would be able to create a threatening invention like what Tom Ogle made. His popularity soon crashed, and the media didn’t bother having his story anymore.
And, things only became worse as his wife decided to leave him. You can surely imagine how devastating it would be to lose your source of income, but to be left behind by your partner and daughter? It’s the worst.
Tom was eventually forgotten. It’s believed that Tom decided to finally end his life on August 19, 1981, overdosing on both alcohol and propoxyphene (an opioid analgesic).
Some people claim otherwise though, pointing out the possibility that he was killed for being a threat to several major players in various industries.
Another post about a Spoon Engine.
Would you agree that if the Tom Ogle Engine had achieved true lasting success and had been adopted by motorists worldwide, efficiency would have improved so much that pollution would be less of a concern?
Well, with the world’s worsening problems, pollution being just one part of the equation, there's no other choice but to continue to dream—and to support dreamers who pursue breakthroughs no matter what.
Simon graduated with a Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Degree. He has over 20 years of servicing experience in both Japanese and German car dealerships. He now acts as a freelance mechanic's instructor for local schools.
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