The History of Gemini
Cooper’s Gemini compressor line has a history dating back to 1870 when August Witte of Kansas City, Missouri, started the Witte Iron Works Company in his hometown. In their first decade, Witte Iron Works began experimenting with internal combustion engines and produced their first gasoline engine in 1886. In 1894, gas engines would be the company’s primary focus, and in 1911, they started manufacturing the Simplicity line of engines. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, Witte expanded their engine line substantially until they were purchased by US Steel Corporation in 1944 to assist with their war manufacturing efforts. The company operated as a division of US Steel until it was spun off into its own private company again in 1966.
In response to the need for global compression expansion and their own desires for growth, the Witte Corporation began designing a reciprocating gas compressor in the early 1970’s. This led to the first single acting Gemini compressor ever produced, the “A” series rated at 200 horsepower, which launched in 1978. Witte expanded the Gemini line with compressors rated up to 1,600 horsepower then sold the engine division to Entera Corporation in 1994. Entera expanded the compressor product line further then sold the product to General Electric Corporation in 1999 where it was operated under their Nuovo Pignone Group. General Electric sold the Gemini line, along with their entire reciprocating engine-compressor business, to privately held Cooper Machinery Services in 2019.
Today, Cooper Machinery Services is the O.E.M. for the Gemini and still produces the “A”, “H”, and “M” line of compressors rated from 60 to 800 horsepower. Cooper also provides parts, service, repairs, and technical support for the thousands of Gemini compressors still in compression applications around the world.