Curtis Air Compressors

Published Categorized as Curtis 18 Comments on Curtis Air Compressors

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Curtis air compressors are manufactured by the FS Curtis company. They have been building compressed air related products since 1854. Their product line is aimed at the industrial market.

Curtis air compressors products include reciprocating air compressors, rotary screw compressors, specialty refrigerant air compressors, and vacuum pumps. They also supply a variety of air preparation equipment and other ancillary products.

Curtis air compressors are available throughout North America, in all of South America, and they also supply to the compressed air industry in India.

In North America Curtis air compressors are sold and serviced via select industrial distributors nationwide.

Curtis Air Compressors
Curtis Air Compressors

The Curtis website offers a page to quickly find your local distribution by zip code or you can contact Curtis directly here:

1905 Kienlen Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63133
Toll Free: 800-925-5431
T: 314-383-1300
E: [email protected]

Folks that are familiar with the Curtis air compressors lines can use this forum either to post a question or help other users of the Curtis air compressors brand.

While on the way to post a question using the form at the end of this page, please scroll down and read the existing submissions as your question may already be answered. It is also useful to view the troubleshooting pages as solutions to many common compressor problems can be found there. If you cannot find an answer here already please post your question.

If you can help another Curtis compressor user by commenting on an existing post, that would be a great help to us all.

If you have a digital format of any Curtis air compressor manual you would like to share with others, please contact me via the contact page. If you haven’t a digital format, consider taking a photo of each page of the manual you have, paste each photo into a word .doc, one photo each page, and you can send the .doc to me for putting up on the site for others to have.

And our thanks to Doug in S.D.Ca for providing this manual for you to download:

Thanks much,


Existing Curtis Air Compressors questions:

Model number for Curtis compressor

By the tag mounted on the tank, it’s made by the Curtis MFG. CO., St. Louis. I took a rubbing, because a photo

Looking for Curtis air compressor parts

Looking for info on Curtis ES-50. It looks heavy duty, but an older model Curtis. Curtis appears to

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I have this Curtis air compressor,pump model C50,tank model CV506.I would say that the pump is original to the outfit. The pump seems to be in good shape…the top end was removed and cleaned.It does pump up to 125 PSI and holds pressure fine.The only problem is it is agonizingly slow. The pump RPM calculates to 450 with 13 1/2 flywheel,3 1/2 drive pulley,1750 RPM motor, 1 1/2 HP,dual voltage which appears to be new. Anyway…any ideas on what RPM I could safely spin the compressor to speed things up? The compressor does have a centrifugal unloader that works but… Read more »


The info I find is 1.5HP, probably 500rpm max.
So, I wouldn’t mess with it.

Thanks,Doug.As it stands,the compressor is basically unusable for anything other than blowing up tires.Are you saying the motor is too small or the compressor isn’t capable of more than 500 rpm? Showing a pic of the motor tag…


I got a Curtis air compressor model #E50 it’s blowing air out the intake when all hooked up but when I take the head off it’s normal


You must have one or more stuck valves. You got the manual, yes?

I took them all out and used 1500 wet & dry sand. Paper on them .Correct me if I’m wrong but it starts in the vertical cylinder then it goes the the 2 nd cylinder then it goes to the 3rd cylinder . This is where I’m confused . There is no piston in the 3rd cylinder. Is it missing ,or does one even go in there

I guess you have not yet read the manual. It’s the CA manual above. It covers several models, use the PDF search to find the E-50.
That’s a two stage pump. The two outer heads are first stage, and the middle one is second stage. All cylinders normally have a piston.
It should actually work with just one 1st stage, but maybe the symptom indicates some other problem.
Good luck.

I have an OLD Curtis compressor that I obtained a long time ago and am now trying to put together a working air compressor system. I am looking for advice on my unit and if what I am trying to do is possible. The compressor nameplate says The Curtis Compressor; Curtis Pneumatic Machinery Company; St. Louis. Numbers on the nameplate: 88 59-5158 Q108; also the nameplate says “min 300 RPM.” The compressor has a 14″ diameter 3-sheave pulley / flywheel on it. I was told that this unit is a “high pressure” compressor. The two cylinders are of different sizes,… Read more »

Hello all, I just finished talking with a very nice guy in the service department at Curtis about my home air compressor system project. He was very friendly and helpful. He answered all of my questions and even gave me some additional helpful information. He told me that I have a very old unit, probably manufactured between 1940 – 1945. He told me that parts are no longer available. When I explained to him what I was trying to do with the compressor, including the use of a 30-gallon code vessel, he said that the unit would do the job… Read more »

Thanks for the update, Bradley.

Hello, New here. Old Curtis 30 gallon tank. 2 5/8″ bore / 2 5/8″ stroke. This one has a Century 1 HP dual volt motor. it has this serial # on the pump. 87-9746. I am trying to find the age? Original colors? And some decals that I have seen on others. It was old in 1970 when my Dad got it. He passed in 72. I was a little kid. I have used this compressor up until 5 yrs ago. I want to semi- restore it. Sentimental value! Can’t seem to part with it. Thanks in advance for any… Read more »

Hello, Bill I have an FS-Curtis E5 V4 pump and I was wanting to know if you can tell me the CFM , the suggested RPM to run it, confirm that this is an single stage pump, and do I need to take the copper lines and fittings out of the head and put plugs in the holes if I’m not gonna run the compressor in continuous use, or if this pump is junk and I should not use it., any information that you can provide will be greatly appreciated, FS-Curtis said that the E3 and the E5 were prototypes… Read more »

Jason, your post has been moved to the Curtis page.

I haven’t found actual specs on this model either. But a SWAG based on the other more current models says that’s a two stage, 4 HP, minimum 500 RPM pump. From what I see in your pix, it should run fine as-is, aside from linking the two pump outputs somehow.
If the cylinders are really the same size, then it would be single stage,but I can’t really tell from the pix. CFM is probably around 12 or so, depending on RPM. The current pumps aren’t run above about 900.

Good luck.

Thanks Doug for your response. I have heard that it’s a 1 and 2 stage pump and hate to tear a brand new pump down to find out. Sorry for my lingo but what is swag? I hate that FS-Curtis won’t give me any information on the pump. I’m gonna start at 600-700 rpm and a 24.5 amp 5 hp motor and see what happens.
Thanks again Jason

Jason – Scientific Wild Ass Guess or Google “swag scientific” for my meaning… If you can get a caliper around the head near the bottom, you should be able to tell if they are the same size pistons in there. A two stage will usually have one piston about 1/2 to 2/3 the 1st stage, but distinctly smaller. If it’s single stage it will pull air in twice per revolution. Two stage just once per rev. Looking at the pix again, I think it probably is single stage. So it’s “new” but came on that tank with no motor? Curtis… Read more »

Hey Doug Thanks again, the pump is the e5 prototype that you mentioned not e4, they called it an e5 v4 I guess the e5 means 5hp and the v4 means V style 4 cylinder. As for being new I was talking about the pump only, I had a 5 hp weg motor as well as a couple of 10 hp lessons that I wasn’t using and my brother gave me the tank in the photo so I figured that I would buy a compressor pump and build my own. Also had a couple of Allen Bradley contractors and relays.… Read more »

Yeah, my bad about the model.
Sounds like a fun project. Are the 10 HP motors 220 or three phase or what?
Can you run them? (I know, nosy of me)
Looking forward to your pix.