Louis Mékarski

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Mékarski tram in Paris in 1900

Louis Mékarski (in Polish Ludwik Mękarski) (1843, Clermont-Ferrand,[1] France – 1923) was a French engineer and inventor of Polish origin. In the 1870s he invented the so-called Mekarski system of compressed-air powered trams which was used in several cities of France and USA as alternative to horse-powered and steam-powered trams.


Louis Mékarski (with Paul Lucas-Girardville, an early aviator)[2] patented a similar system for automobiles in 1903.[3] Waste heat from an internal combustion engine generated steam, which was mixed with compressed air from an air compressor driven by the ic engine. The air/steam mixture then drove a separate piston engine which propelled the vehicle. This system pre-dated the better-known Still engine.

Mékarski also obtained a patent for spring wheels for vehicles.[4]


In Nantes there is a street Rue Louis Mékarski.