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"Berk" Supercharger, PressureVac Ltd., North Parade, Bradford, Yorks


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#1 Fred.R

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Posted 03 April 2021 - 05:08

In a discussion  about the Chamberlain 8 a reference was made that it had a German  "Berk" supercharger , after  bit of googling from "Berk" appears to be english

 

https://www.motorspo...f-supercharging,

 

it appears to have been made by "Messrs. PressureVac, Ltd., North Parade, Bradford, Yorks"  and the article also states that A.E.  Waite's record braking  Austin 7 was equiped with one as was Major Halfords A.M. Special 

 

returning back to the Chamberlain i have seen a sketch of the rotors in the blower ,and they are of the 3 lobe variety, as the Chamberlain engine dates from the early 1930's

i was surprised , from the above article  "As regards the actual design of the "Berk" Superchargers, those are of the well-known Roots-Blower type, having a patent for of three-arm rotor,"     the article was from 1926 , i had thought that 3 Lobe rotors were General Motors development for the -71 series diesels of the late 1930's

 

Its interesting at the end of the article states that a smaller Supercharger  would soon be available for motorcycles

 

I have had no luck finding the patent of the three-arm rotor, and wonder what became of "PressureVac Ltd" or would any one know of other vehicles fitted with their products, and  is any one aware of an earlier  Roots type supercharger with 3 lobe rotors



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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 April 2021 - 11:04

Pressurevac Ltd, Mechanical Engineers, of 18a North Parade, Bradford appears to have been a very short-lived enterprise. They are listed in the 1926 phone book. But not in either 1925 or 1927.

 

No trace of them in Grace's Guide. Nor even in the London Gazette.



#3 PJGD

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Posted 04 April 2021 - 02:53

Here is a copy of the Berk 3-lobe rotor from French patent FR614513 of 1926:

http://www.philipdin...-Lobe Rotor.png

 

Frederick William Berk obtained several patents relating to supercharging, for instance: GB273042.



#4 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 April 2021 - 08:35

Mr Berk looks to have been an interesting chap and something of  a self-made man. Another patent told me that he lived in Harrogate, which is confirmed by electoral roll records. This is the proposal for his membership of the IMechE - he certainly seems to have known his way around superchargers:

 

40837-1831101883-0475-00403.jpg

 

By 1930 he was living in Yardley in Birmingham and in both Kellys Directory 1939 and the 1939 Register he is recorded as living in a flat on Viceroy Close, Bristol Road, Edgbaston, which seems to be a private estate - and it's only a stone's throw from Edgbaston cricket ground. The 1939 Register tells us he was by then working as a 'technical representative - engineering'. He died on May 21st 1944, home address given as 51 Richmond Hill Rd, Edgbaston, estate valued at just under £7000.



#5 Dutchy

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 15:03

My father fitted a Berk supercharger to his GN/AC single seater back in the 1960s.

It was a big heavy blower and I have a feeling it was originally intended to blow something larger than a 2 litre AC.


Edited by Dutchy, 06 April 2021 - 15:08.


#6 Garsted

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 15:10

This may just be coincidence, but North Parade in Bradford is very close to an area of that city known as Little Germany due to the number of German migrants that settled there. Perhaps someone got their wires crossed when suggesting they came from Germany.
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#7 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 18:24

This may just be coincidence, but North Parade in Bradford is very close to an area of that city known as Little Germany due to the number of German migrants that settled there. Perhaps someone got their wires crossed when suggesting they came from Germany.
Steve

Frederick Berk's father, Gustav Adolph Berk, was born in Crefeld in the Rheinland in 1846 - various documents include combinations of variations on his forenames; sometimes Gustave or Gustavus, sometimes Adolphe or Adolphus. His naturalization papers call him Gustavus Adolphus - he seems to have arrived in Britain some time after the 1871 census, married in 1877 and became a UK citizen in 1882. He's variously described a merchant or mineral water manufacturer. So there's another German connection.



#8 Michael Ferner

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 07:50

... 

 

Frederick Berk's father, Gustav Adolph Berk, was born in Crefeld in the Rheinland in 1846 - various documents include combinations of variations on his forenames...

 

,,, and Crefeld is now, of course, called Krefeld, but better known under the name of one of its municipal districts, Uerdingen... don't ask me why, it's a footy thing!