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Thread: Latham supercharger
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    Big Tracks's Avatar
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    Latham supercharger

     



    I have long been of the opinion that I should own one of the Latham axial-flow superchargers.

    I have to admit that I have never seen one, but I've always been fascinated by the concept. To me they just seemed to be more civilized than the big Rootes-type huffers.

    Also, they looked to me like a machinist's nightmare.

    I'm not looking to buy one, but does anybody know whether any of them are still around?

    I think I'll go upstairs and dig through the big pile of crap I call "my Files". Maybe I can find a picture of one.


    Jim

  2. #2
    glennsexton's Avatar
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    One unusual design is Latham's "Axial Flow" supercharger that resembles a fan compressor from a jet engine. A cylindrical rotor with dozens of little blades spins inside a bladed housing to compress the incoming air in stages. Like a centrifugal supercharger, it runs at high speed (470 percent overdrive) and is not a positive displacement pump but more of a high volume fan with an operating speed around 20,000 rpm! One of it's claimed advantages was a much lower outlet air temperature than a Roots type blower. The Latham supercharger was produced briefly from about 1955 to 1965, but never gained widespread acceptance
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  3. #3
    Bob Parmenter's Avatar
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    Jim, we had some discussion on these way back, probably 8 or so years ago. I went searching here and the thread(s) are gone. The three that did come up were not very descriptive.

    If you do a Google/Bing search there's lots of info online, including this outfit that is doing a more modern version: http://www.axialflow.com/history.htm He has a brief Latham history blurb.

    During the discussion here back when, I got interested in doing a search for the original company. Ended up in a brief email exchange with the son of the founder. He appreciated hearing that there was still some interest in his father's work. He said he didn't have anymore units "just lying around", nor did he have the tooling. The family had sold the tooling to some fellow who thought he was going to continue/revive production, but never did. He no longer had contact for that guy. Interesting, historic hardware.
    Last edited by Bob Parmenter; 08-06-2010 at 12:53 PM.
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  4. #4
    Big Tracks's Avatar
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    Thanks, Glenn and Uncle Bob. That's the critter I was thinking about.

    I never considered using a blower (for a whole slew of reasons) on any engine I owned, but while in the navy I worked on GM 671 engines so I am (was?) reasonably proficient at maintaining them. They are fairly uncomplicated old workhorses.

    I appreciate the fast responses.


    Jim

  5. #5
    HOTRODPAINT's Avatar
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    I always flash back to the kit I built as a kid... probably late '50s, early '60s.
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  6. #6
    Big Tracks's Avatar
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    Ill be darned, Jay!

    Look at that.

    There is a little private airport maybe four miles from our house. A guy keeps a late version of a Kaiser or Frazer in a hangar there. I have seen the car maybe three times and is really "mint". It has an ornamental plaque thing on it that says "supercharged". One place you wouldn't expect to find a supercharger is on a flathead six, but nonetheless .....

    I got a quick peek under the hood. It looked to have a Latham.

    Can anybody verify That?

    Suppose if I got next to the guy he would put me in his will?

    Naw. I guess not.


    Jim

  7. #7
    Bob Parmenter's Avatar
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    1954 Kaiser Manhattans came equipped with a McCulloch supercharger, I think later acquired by Paxton. Same design as the ones that showed up on Golden Hawk and later R2 Studebakers.
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  8. #8
    RestoRod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Tracks View Post
    . One place you wouldn't expect to find a supercharger is on a flathead six,
    My 1940 Graham has a factory supercharger on its flathead six. Graham offered the supercharger on its sixes from 1936 to 1941.
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  9. #9
    pat mccarthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Tracks View Post
    I have long been of the opinion that I should own one of the Latham axial-flow superchargers.

    I have to admit that I have never seen one, but I've always been fascinated by the concept. To me they just seemed to be more civilized than the big Rootes-type huffers. jim

    who wants civilized with a blower engine ? eaton and wipple seam to have that market if you want that.. but i am a big hammer guy working on this timid one right now
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    Last edited by pat mccarthy; 08-07-2010 at 05:01 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Pat----a PINK towel with a flower?????

  11. #11
    Dave Severson is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry clayton View Post
    Pat----a PINK towel with a flower?????

    Wow!!!! That's a really "civilized" lookin' towell!!!!!!
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  12. #12
    Bob Parmenter's Avatar
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    Maybe Pat's prepping that for Barb?
    Your Uncle Bob, Senior Geezer Curmudgeon

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  13. #13
    pat mccarthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry clayton View Post
    Pat----a PINK towel with a flower?????
    thinking your not IRISH and thats on my table all the time and thats ok if you think its a flower but may not get a nice remark back from some for the pink well thats my glass top table so that was handy as i eat out of the hot pan when i warm things up it just me so i do not like dishes to clean after wash engine parts all day at the time shop that blower was 80 pounds after it came out of the box that were it landed . next time i will consult you jerry on the lay out of the photo shoot
    Last edited by pat mccarthy; 08-07-2010 at 10:04 AM.
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  14. #14
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    It's PURPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Don

  15. #15
    Big Tracks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RestoRod View Post
    My 1940 Graham has a factory supercharger on its flathead six. Graham offered the supercharger on its sixes from 1936 to 1941.
    I sure can't argue with that! I didn't know what type engine the Grahams had. I know that some of the Cords of that era were also supercharged and they were flatheads, but I don't think they were sixes.

    A college kid in my hometown had one of the supercharged Cord models. I really envied him. My own car at the time was not quite that exotic. It was a brown '39 Dodge four door with two busted tail lights.

    Bob, you are right. The Kaiser would have a McCulloch.

    Pat, I'm not one to give you flak about your towel! That's a good looking setup and obviously clean enough to bring in the house, and you presented it well. About thirty years ago I got in the dog house big time when I stunk up the house BAD with Gunk. My excuse was that it was freezing in the garage.

    Wife wasn't impressed.

    I haven't done that again.


    Jim

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