Tried and True: Murphy “Red Box” Products


How did Swichgage® become the number one name in cost-effective engine protection? Simply put, decades of dedication to reliable, weather-resistant instruments and a reputation built over 82 years.

The legacy of Murphy gauges, including their iconic red box and cost-effective engine protection, started in 1939 with the development of the Murphy Safety Switch and the complete transformation of engine instrumentation. From the 1930s to the early 1940s, our founder, Frank W. “Pat” Murphy was a sales manager in Illinois for an equipment distributor. Pat noticed a trend of customer complaints for burned up engines out in the field. With this knowledge and a relentless mindset, Pat worked tirelessly to develop the Murphy Safety Switch, an adjustable engine kill switch designed to prevent equipment damage. As they say, the rest is history. Once the Murphy Safety Switch was perfected, Pat established the company that would eventually grow to become Enovation Controls.

Compared to the electronic controls available today, a standard Swichgage instrument offers much simpler, but elegant, protection. It works by using the pointer on the gauge as both an indicator and switch when it touches the adjustable limit contact and completes a circuit. This patented design was a major step forward when it was first introduced, and thousands of Swichgage instruments are now sold all over the world in a variety of models and styles for use in a variety of industries, including oil and gas, marine, irrigation, construction or anywhere else you might find hard working engines. No matter where or how they are used, easy-to-install and easy-to-use Swichgage instruments are an invaluable way to prevent engine-driven equipment from reaching dangerous levels of operation.

In the decades after Pat Murphy created the Swichgage, Enovation Controls has continued to be a leader in controls and expanded into displays, controllers, panels, control modules and hydraulic controls. Although, electronic controls and displays are popular for a variety of equipment uses today, Swichgage instruments remain one of our most popular products. Even in today’s world, sometimes the best choice is a Swichgage instrument to get the job done for your application. Swichgages have also been known to be used as a backup for electronic controls, so if electronics fail, there is a failsafe in place to protect the equipment.

Swichgage instruments have been thoroughly work-tested and proven for customers time after time with decades of use in the field. While all gauges are covered by a two-year warranty, we have heard multiple stories from customers with instruments in operation for more than 20 years. It is their durability and dependability that have made the name “Murphy” synonymous with reliable and quality control for over 82 years.

In a world where innovation and evolution are essential, it is easy to think that classic products are outdated and have run their course. With Murphy gauges, we are still seeing new and exciting ways they contribute to equipment in a variety of markets. Our customers continue to keep our Murphy gauges relevant and continue to trust their reliability for their applications.

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