Marvel-Schebler® History

Early Company History

Alexander Graham Bell said of invention, “Good discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds. I may be given credit for having blazed the trail but when I look at the subsequent development I feel credit is due to others rather than me.” Anyone who has ever been credited with inventing something is likely to agree with this insight and when it comes to the development and manufacturing of the airplane carburetor, it is still true today.

George Schebler of Batesville, Indiana was a farmer, a fiddle maker at a music store and was known by family and neighbors for being a bit of a mechanic as well. The carburetor came about because of his desire to have better control over the combustible engine. Working with his friend, Burt Pierce, the men used their understanding of mechanics, and began to tinker. Schebler ultimately designed a “carburetor” using a tin can with a simple flap that he attached to a motorcycle engine. Then in 1902, he patented the first air-valve designed carburetor. In order to perfect his product, however, Schebler needed some financial backing. Meanwhile, Pierce continued to work on what became known as the Marvel design and received a patent in 1909.

Eventually, Schebler drew the attention of people like Harry Stutz, known for the designing and manufacturing of internal combustion engine and Frank Wheeler. These men provided the money and marketing, while Schebler provided the mental knowledge and the IMS (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) Company was born. It is interesting to note, that the carburetor Schebler had invented was originally used with great success in racing cars and from 1911 to 1935, racing trophies carried the Wheeler name. In fact, as a testament to the role played by Frank Wheeler and George Schebler, the original Wheeler-Schebler building still survives and has been renamed the Wheeler Arts Community and can be found in the southern Indianapolis area. Other areas the Wheeler-Schebler carburetors began being used were in boats, agricultural equipment such as the Model D and Waterloo Boys tractors and ultimately in aircraft.

However, in 1912, Schebler sold his shares in the company. This was the first of many times that the Schebler company and its carburetors would change hands. In fact, over the past century, the Schebler Company has been known by many names, but one thing remains the same- being known for their quality carburetors. Here is a basic overview of the Marvel-Schebler history:

Marvel-Schebler History Timeline

  • In 1905 the Wheeler-Schebler company was formed.
  • In 1908 the Marvel Carburetor Company was formed and J. R. Francis backed Pierce’s design. This design was used heavily by General Motors, also formed in 1908
  • Additional Wheeler-Schebler production facilities were built in 1911
  • Schebler sold his stake in the company and the Marvel company moved to Flint, MI in 1912.
  • By 1928 the company was known as the Marvel-Schebler Carburetor Co. and one of the founding companies of the Borg Warner Corporation eventually becoming the Marvel-Schebler/Tillotson Division. It was comprised of 4 companies. In addition, the Marvel-Schebler Company was producing 6,000 carburetors a day! Pierce soon after sold his stake in Marvel, became a consultant. In addition to his other accomplishments he developed Marvel Mystery Oil.
  • Borg-Warner designated the Marvel-Schebler Division in 1934.
  • Marvel-Schebler moved to Decatur, Illinois in 1948 and opened a new plant in 1950
  • Facet Aerospace Products Co. purchased the company from Borg Warner in 1982, in April of 1983 the Decatur plant closed.
  • Facet sold the Marvel-Schebler product line to Zenith Fuel systems in 1990.
  • Precision Airmotive Corporation bought the aviation carburetor line from Zeinth in 1990.
  • In March of 2008 Volare, bought the MSA carburetor line assets from Precision Airmotive LLC.
  • March 2008, MSA carburetors and OEM replacement parts began being marketed under the TEMPEST® Plus Marketing Group.
  • In August of 2010, Volare Carburetors LLC acquired the Marvel-Schebler trademark.
  • In 2010, TEMPEST announced that the manufacturer formerly known as Volare Carburetors LLC is now Marvel-Schebler Aircraft Carburetors LLC; marketing efforts to remain under the TEMPEST brand.
  • Effective March 1, 2011 Marvel-Schebler Aircraft Carburetors LLC began marketing its Marvel-Schebler OEM line of carburetors and replacement parts.

The Leading Manufacturer of Float Carburetors

Over the years, Marvel-Schebler carburetors have been installed on many general aviation aircraft worldwide. Today Marvel-Schebler Aircraft Carburetors LLC is an industry leading manufacturer of float carburetors. We supply the industry with genuine MSA carburetors, kits and parts including factory overhauls. Each carburetor has been built with the highest quality standards. Factory carburetors are subjected to a dynamic fuel delivery analysis from idle to full throttle to ensure proper engine performance.

Our plant has a group of dedicated employees and encompasses 12,000 square feet of production space where we manufacture, overhaul and rebuild carburetors to FAA standards.  With continued innovation, while maintaining the highest levels of quality, matched with expert engineering technical support, and outstanding customer service, Marvel-Schebler is positioned to meet the customer’s needs.