The Air-Scale Company was by far my grandfather's most successful financial venture and won him worldwide recognition as an inventor and engineer. On February 8, 1924 he filed a patent for an air pressure regulating mechanism. In this patent application he stated that the objective of the device was to adjustably control air pressure of air supplied from a source to any self-containing member such as the pneumatic tire of an automobile. On May 2, 1925 he followed up this patent with a second patent for a tire inflating mechanism, thus marking the beginnings of a device which now is not only present in virtually every gas station in the world, but in many homes and industrial facilities. Every air-supplying device now on the market such as those used for pneumatic tools, filling footballs and basketballs with air, inflating balloons or inflatable boats, or the operation of any device which provides air under pressure for some purpose or other can be traced back to these two original patents by my grandfather, Earl M. Morley.
Air pump drawing that accompanied the Patent of May 2nd, 1925
The original Air-Scale had a range of 20 - 140 pounds to an accuracy of one ounce of pressure, and with automatic shutoff when the selected pressure was reached. It became an instant success in the United States and elsewhere and was followed by many additional models suitable for a wide variety of purposes. One of those additional products was the ceiling hose reel, a device which can still be seen attached to the ceilings of many a mechanics' automobile garage or workshop. Various models of Air-Scale pumps produced in the 1930s' and 1940s' are still operational and are often seen when visiting foreign countries.
An Air-Scale Air Pump Design of 1930
Above is a drawing from a patent submitted in 1930 and an actual operating air pump of the same design located at the H.P. Sears Oil Company Service Station Museum, 201 North George Street, Rome New York. The Service Station Museum is a completely restored automobile service station that had been built in 1929. The station contains two different Air-Scale models, the one above and a later model with a different top design which does not include the white glass globe, but does includes a scale for determining the actual weight of the air dispensed.
Front View of the H. P. Sears Oil Co. Service Station, Rome New York
The H.P. Sears Oil Company Service Station Museum is located at 201 North George Street, Rome New York at the corner of Liberty Street, one block from City Hall. In addition to two Air-Scale air pumps, the Museum contains a pair of restored Clock Face gas pumps built by Martin & Swartz along with a set of authentic light poles and fixtures. The Museum also contains two restored Erie Clock Face pumps with illuminated globes. The building has a white stucco exterior with a curved fascia and a roof of orange tile. Visitors information and photos of the H.P. Sears Oil Company Service Station Museum can be seen at web site at http://www.hpsearsoil.com