130+ years of compression innovation
Superior is a brand of industrial combustion engines and reciprocating gas compressors that has a history which stretches back to 1889. It was in this year that Patrick J Shouvlin opened a small industrial engineering shop in Springfield, Ohio. In effort to capitalize on the growing need for oil pumping engines, P. J. Shouvlin developed and sold his first gas engine for oilfield pumping applications. Twenty-five years later, the Superior Gas Engine Company was selling a line of engines which ranged from 20 to 100 horsepower.
Throughout the 1920’s, the company employed a staff of roughly 500 individuals and was said to be the largest singly owned company in the world according to the Clark County Historical Society.
In the early 1960’s, a line of Superior Compressors specifically designed to operate with Superior Gas engines were manufactured. In addition, these Superior Compressors could also be operated with a turbine or motor-driven.
The decision to develop and introduce a Superior gas-engine compressor could not have come at a more perfect time. These reciprocating gas compressors served as a complimentary product instead of competing with existing products. More so, these compressors could be manufactured in the same Superior facilities and sold by the existing sales personnel.
In 1964, Ohio experienced another oil boom which only increased the demand and sales for Superior engines and compressors. In 1965, the name White Diesel Engine Division was changed to White Superior Division and refinements to existing engine and compressor lines continued. As part of these enhancements, twelve and sixteen cylinder V-engines were developed. These engines ranged from 400-2,650 horsepower and could be used for
In the early 1970’s, White Superior Division was acquired by Cooper Industries, later known as Cameron. At the time of the acquisition, Superior was primarily manufacturing equipment for the oil and gas industry. Cooper continued to focus on marketing Superior products in the oil and gas industry.
Today, the O.E.M. for Superior engines and compressors is privately held Cooper Machinery Services. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Cooper provides parts, service, repairs, and overall support for the Superior engine and compressor line and still manufactures new Superior engines and compressors at their Deer Park, Texas center of excellence for the Superior product line.
- “Superior Engines & Compressors.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 8 Sept. 2021
- Tom Stafford. “Springfield Men Bring New Life to Old Engine.” Springfield News-Sun, 20 Jan. 2018
- Steve Ritch. “25 HP Superior Engine.” The Iron Mule, 1 May 2021
- “A History of Superior Gas Engine Co.” Gas Engine Magazine, 1 Jun. 2004