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Louis Mekarski invented the Mekarski system which was a compressed-air propulsion system for trams.
He worked in France, was born in 1843 in Clermont-Ferrand (south of France) of Polish origin. He is often refered to by his Polish name, Ludwik Mekarski.
The system was tested in Paris in 1876 and introduced to the tramways of Nantes in 1879. It seems to have been a success at Nantes with a fleet of 94 trams in 1900. The Mekarski tramcars continued in use there until 1917, when they were replaced by electric trams.
The system was used in England on the Wantage tramway but did not find favour there because the compressor plant used more than four times as much coal as a steam locomotive. Between 1881 and 1883 an improved air car was used on the Caledonian Road tramway of the London Street Tramway Company.
In 1888 it was decided to use the system between King's Cross (Metropolitan) Station and Camden Road by the London Street Tramways Co. The journey was just under two miles on a rising and falling gradient all the way.