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Albert P. Broomell, of Pullman Automotive Fame, and his 24 U. S. Patents

United States Patent 1,244,416 issued to Albert P. Broomell of York, PA for Improvements to Automotive Spark-Plugs (United States Patent Office)

My post last week on the Broomell, Schmidt & Company Factory in York; Birthplace of Pullman Motor Car, was at #40 within my countdown of the Top 50 York County Factories at End of 19th Century.  Within this boiler and steam heating supplies manufacturing factory on Hay Street, fabrication of the first motor car in York was completed during 1903.  The six-wheel Pullman Motor Car was the brainchild of inventive genius Albert P. Broomell.

In this post we learn more about Albert P. Broomell; through his patents.  Albert was issued 24 United States Patents.  Continue reading for details of his patented improvements to automotive spark-plugs.


Albert P. Broomell was issued 24 United States Patents between 1882 and 1917; i.e. from when he was 34-years old until he was 69-years old.  His first patent in 1882 was for improvements to globe-valves; this was when he was assignor to Frey & Broomell, a brass foundry in York, PA.  His second patent in 1884 was for improvements to the steering-gear for traction engines; this was when he was assigner to Arthur B. Farquhar of York, PA.

Albert’s next 12 patents were issued directly to him.  Although another patent issued in 1884 and one issued in 1886, appear to continue to be for A. B. Farquhar, since they were for improvements to traction-engines and governors for engines.  The remaining 10 patents issued directly to him from 1889 to 1906 were related to Broomell’s heating equipment business.

Albert’s next 3 patents, during 1907 and 1908, were assigned to the Vapor Heating Company, of which Albert Broomell was President.  The patents indicate this company was located in York, PA during 1907 and Philadelphia, PA during 1908; however further research shows manufacturing operations were located in both York and Philadelphia.  Nevertheless in both years Albert P. Broomell is listed from York, PA.

The final 7 patents were issued directly to Albert P. Broomell, of York, PA, from 1909 to 1917.  The two parents in 1909 are out of the ordinary; they are for improvements to submarine mines.  Albert’s 4 patents from 1913 to 1917 are again related to the heating equipment business.

With all the involvement that Albert P. Broomell had with developing the Pullman automobile and originating the most significant automobile manufacturing operations in York, one wonders why he waited until he was 69-years old to get his first, and only, automotive related patent.  Broomell was issued this patent on October 23rd 1917, for improvements to automotive spark-plugs.

Referring to the patent drawing at the beginning of this post, here is how Albert P. Broomell described the operation of his spark-plug in the patent description.

When it is necessary to prime the engine, a quantity of gasoline is poured into the cup 13.  When the engine piston makes its intake stroke it creates a suction in the cylinder chamber which acts on the valve-like electrode 4, drawing it away from its seat 12 and admitting a portion of the gasoline in the cap 13.  The passage 14 is made ample enough to permit the gasoline to flow around the post 15.

The electrode 4 will soon re-seat itself and when the piston compresses the charge to the limit, a spark leaps across the gap between the terminals 4 and 1, and explodes the compressed charge.  Each time that the piston travels on its intake stroke, a suction is created which acts on the electrode 4 and urges it from its seat 12 against the tension of the spring 16 and thus a small amount of fresh air is admitted each time which not only improves the mixture, but boosts the power and keeps the spark terminals cool.

The continued reciprocatory movement of the electrode 4 also dislodges any carbon which may have adhered to the parts and is an active means in preventing the formation of carbon deposits around the plug.

Reference list of United States Patents issued to Albert P. Broomell, of York, Pennsylvania

United States Patents issued to Albert P. Broomell, of York, Pennsylvania, assignor to Frey & Broomell of York, PA

  • No. 260,000 on 27 Jun 1882: [Improvements to] Globe-Valve

United States Patents issued to Albert P. Broomell, of York, Pennsylvania, assignor to Arthur B. Farquhar of York, PA

  • No. 298,169 on 6 May 1884:  Steering-Gear for Traction-Engines

United States Patents issued to Albert P. Broomell, of York, Pennsylvania

  • No. 307,265 on 28 Oct 1884:  [Improvements in] Traction-Engine
  • No. 338,822 on 30 Mar 1886:  [Improvements in] Governor for Engines
  • No. 418,159 on 31 Dec 1889:  Magazine for Steam-Boiler Furnaces
  • No. 445,037 on 20 Jan 1891:  Combined Cooking and Heating Range
  • No. 498,894 on 6 Jun 1893:  Combined Cooking and Water-Heating Range
  • No. 603,169 on 26 Apr 1898:  Multiple-Tube Water-Heater
  • No. 650,778 on 29 May 1900:  Steam Heating Apparatus
  • No. 657,059 on 28Aug 1900:  [Improvements to] Valve
  • No. 712,251 on 28 Oct 1902:  Limekiln
  • No. 717,335 on 30 Dec 1902:  Steam Heating Apparatus
  • No. 770,627 on 20 Sep 1904:  Water-Heating Apparatus
  • No. 822,245 on 5 Jun 1906:  [Improvements to] Kiln

United States Patents issued to Albert P. Broomell, of York, Pennsylvania, assignor to Vapor Heating Company of York, PA

  • No. 843,995 on 12 Feb 1907:  Receiver for Vapor Heating Systems
  • No. 843,996 on 12 Feb 1907:  Valve for Heating System

United States Patents issued to Albert P. Broomell, of York, Pennsylvania, assignor to Vapor Heating Company of Philadelphia, PA

  • No. 907,729 on 29 Dec 1908:  [Improvements to] Valve

United States Patents issued to Albert P. Broomell, of York, Pennsylvania

  • No. 937,673 on 19 Oct 1909:  [Improvements to] Submarine Mine
  • No. 940,506 on 16 Nov 1909:  [Improvements to] Submarine Mine
  • No. 1,068,216 on 22 Jul 1913:  Automatic Heat-Regulator
  • No. 1,133,090 on 23 Mar 1915:  Automatic Heat-Controlling Device
  • No. 1,201,931 on 17 Oct 1916:  Radiator-Valve-Controlling Device
  • No. 1,236,257 on 7 Aug 1917:  Automatic Heating System
  • No. 1,244,416 on 23 Oct 1917:  [Improvements to] Spark-Plug

Links to a few posts featuring United States Patents:

Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts