One of the many patents on the reciprocal engine was awarded in 1838. Today these compressors are prominent in the refrigeration industry and have been developed to improve their efficiency. The efficiency of these compressors can be increased by 5 - 10% by adding better controls.
In 1905 the scroll machine was awarded one of many patents. The onslaught of this technology was a result of the invention of computers, therefore making this type of compressor more economical and easier to maintain than the previous reciprocating compressor.
Archimedes could take credit, along with others, for the development of the refined screw compressor. This was invented as a follow on from the computer controlled machine. This compressor started as industrial equipment, but has now been established in the commercial area.