The Air Handling Business That Started with Water

The Spencer Turbine Company was founded in Hartford, Connecticut in 1892 by Ira Hobart Spencer. One of America’s legendary inventors and entrepreneurs, Ira started a corporate dynasty by solving a tedious problem: manually pumping the pipe organ in his church every Sunday.

Figuring there must be a better way, he invented a water-powered hydraulic engine to pump air. Soon, he had a flourishing business installing water motors for church organs. When electricity arrived, he switched to electric motors. His products were called Orgoblos, coined from “organ blowers.” To this day, we continue to furnish spare parts for some of the early Orgoblos that are still in service.

Spencer’s Next Engineering Edge – Multistage Centrifugal Blowers

Ira’s experiments with air handling led, in 1905, to introduction of the Turbine Vacuum Cleaner and formation of The Spencer Turbine Cleaner Company (separate from The Organ Power Company). In 1918, a milestone year, the two merged into The Spencer Turbine Company, which introduced its first multistage centrifugal blower – the most important engineering concept of Spencer’s first century.


Our oldest multistage models are the standard overhung (SOH) and four-bearing overhung (4BOH) machines, both of which proudly carry our trademarked “sugar scoop” housing profile. These are among Spencer’s oldest products, so the sugar scoop profile is your visual assurance of genuine Spencer quality that has endured for more than a century.

The year 1918 also saw a relocation from Hartford to West Hartford into larger quarters. During its 57 years in that plant, Spencer emerged as a world-leading manufacturer of centrifugal blowers, exhausters, vacuum systems, gas boosters, pneumatic conveying systems and wastewater treatment blowers.

1975 – Headquarters Relocation and Expansion

In 1975, a new headquarters facility was built in Windsor, Connecticut. Today, this facility has 200,000 sq.ft. devoted to Spencer’s research, engineering, manufacturing and customer service activities. Here, we have accumulated in-depth capabilities in blower, vacuum and control technology, relying on an in-house staff of mechanical, electrical, design, manufacturing and application engineers. The manufacturing operation produces an extensive line of air and gas handling products, accessories and electrical controls.