2018 Featured Article Series –
MOTOMETER MAKING MEN
EDGAR D. FAGEROS
Edgar D. Fageros resided in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is a little known motometer inventor. Varietal motometer collectors who may be fortunate enough to own an example or two vaguely know Edgar Fageros’ “Fageros Motor Gauge”. Not many automobilia or motometer-specific collecting enthusiasts possess Fageros Motor Safety Gauge motometers, let alone familiar with its origin or inventor.
In May of 1927 Edgar filed U. S. patent application for an innovative “Motor Gauge” that did not use a thermometer, like the then wildly popular BOYCE MOTO-METER.
Edgar’s gauge uses a coiled temperature reactive, bi-metallic, stripe to articulate a colored (red) metal semaphore temperature range indicating panel from left (COLD) –to- right (DANGER) to inform the vehicle operator of his or her engine’s temperature/water coolant status.
As the panel passed past a temperature indicating sight window punch cut into a metal temperature range dial plate the driver would be kept abreast of the water coolant temperature condition.
The Fageros Motor Gauge was intended to be radiator cap mounted and then attached to the vehicle’s radiator via the filler tube.
Edgar’s motometer as originally designed featured four temperature range indicating sight windows. The temperature sight windows ranged from COLD, to WARM, to HOT, to DANGER with the WARM and HOT temperatures considered as being within the NORMAL operating temperature range or safe condition.
On December 25, 1928, Edgar received his official “Motor Gauge” patent registration.
Three model sizes of the Motor Gauge were manufactured, a large “Model B,” a middle-sized “Universal,” and a smaller “Junior” type.
Fageros Motor Gauges could also be acquired with certain automobile manufacturer marque logo insignias, such as Chevrolet.
Around the time of the patent issuance Edgar apparently began licensing his design to other manufacturers such as the Simplex Manufacturing Company also of Minneapolis, Minnesota enabling them to make, sell and distribute their version of his gauge-device.
The Simplex Motor Gauge has “only” two temperature range sight windows
Born May 1st, 1897, in Minnesota, he served in the World War I U. S. Naval Reserve Flying Corps as an Ensign (Naval Aviator Seaplane(s) Class Five, 8th Naval District). Source - Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy: O. S. Naval Reserve Forces and Marine Corp, January 1, 1919, page 766.
In 1932 Edgar patented a bread toaster
Edgar D. Fageros was "a Minneapolis lawyer, admitted to bar on July 8, 1925, was killed in an airplane crash near McGrath, Alaska, on April 6, 1934. He was piloting the plane" according to the Minneapolis Lawyers book. published by the Minneapolis Newspaper Photograph Collection, Hennepin County Library. His below photograph was taken two days after his bread toaster patent was issued.
Edgar D. Fageros
Photo taken on January 7, 1932
Not a great many Fageros Motor Gauge motometer temperature indicators are known at this time to exist and even fewer in proper working condition as originally manufactured and intended.
The exact overall quantity of Fageros Motor Gauges manufactured is not known and this information is sadly presumed to have been lost in the dustbin of time.
Chevrolet Logo Fageros Motor Gauge Image Courtesy of MotometerCollector.com
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