Delos B. Stults

Like Bob Neal, George Heaton and possibly others, Delos Stults knew how to put high pressure air into a low pressure tank. He lived a few blocks from the father of the free range air car, Lewis C. Kiser.

Invention Summary

What the Inventor Claimed

In 1923 a syndicated article and photo of Delos Butler Stults' invention stated: "...may prove to be... perpetual motion ...elimination of the back pressure on the pistons as well as the back pressure of the storage tank against the pipe that feeds the compressed air into it..." A correspondent looked at the photo and is sure that Stults' engine was made from a Model T engine.

What the Publicity Stated

See articles and photos.

Inventor Biographical


Delos had several patents on railroad tie plates and farm equipment.

Work Experience

Farmer, inventor, machinist, laborer, entrepreneur.

Family Background

Delos B. Stults was born August 10, 1879 in Girard, Macoupin County, Illinois, son of William Hugh Stults and Mary Naylor. His father was a blacksmith at the time.

In Decatur, Illinois at the time when he announced his air engine invention in 1923, he was operator of Stulor Co. Garage, and with relatives Stulor Mfg Co. making piston rings. He was a machinist. His daughter Wilma also worked with him in the manufacturing business. The company sponsored a local baseball team. With his wife Frances and his business partners and brothers Alfred and James and their families, he lived three blocks from the residence of air car inventor Lewis Cass Kiser in Decatur, Illinois. In 1927 he received another patent.

Delos and his wife Frances had daughters Hazel, Wilma and Dorothy and sons Clyde, Harold and Bernard. In 1928 Bernard died when he was three years old from a complication of a disease.

And then came the Great Depression. In 1929 Delos was working as a buffer. See "legal" for what came next.

His wife Frances Caroline Grankey died in 1937, around the age of 57.

In 1938 Delos was working as a laborer. In 1940 his occupation was listed as inventor. In 1944 he was back to farming near Hettick, Western Mound Township, in Macoupin County at the age of 65 when he died on November 6. He was thus spared the grief of learning, a few weeks later, of his son Harold's death in the German war, three days after Christmas.


Imaginative, community-minded businessman and entrepreneur. He was not a fly-by-night, but lived in the same city for many years, seemingly retaining a lifelong tie to his farming roots in Macoupin County.

Legal Problems?

In 1929 he was charged with running a con game but no details are known, and nothing is known as to whether he was convicted.

In 1930 his son Delos Clyde Stults, a Navy veteran, was subject to a "Dyer act indictment" which had to do with allegedly receiving or transporting stolen automobiles across state lines. Also in 1930, Delos B. Stults' occupation was listed as inventor.

In 1931 Delos B. Stults got a liquor violation.

In 1932 he publicized locally a loan scheme (not a scam) to increase the circulation of money by "selling" five single dollar bills for 25 cents. 20,000 people signed up but the required participation of banks and merchants was limited and the business didn't catch on. He was questioned by the police and the state attorney, who did not prevent him from trying to start his loan business, declaring that it was a legal loan with 5% interest. The five dollars would make its way back to the bank while the person who bought the loan for 25 cents only ever spent 25 cents. Details upon request.

Articles & Graphics

More information on the inventor and the invention, if available: