FEBRUARY 17, 1997
Motor Vehicle History Notes: Rudolph Diesel
Courtesy of the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association of the United States.
Rudolph Diesel (1858-1913) first successfully operated his revolutionary compression-ignition engine in 1894. It was very nearly the cause of the young engineer's death, as the tremendous power which built up inside an early model caused an explosion at Diesel's Augsburg, Germany, laboratory.
In the summer of 1898, a Diesel-engine exhibit was shown at a Munich fair. Four single-cylinder engines, each built by a different firm, were seen in operation under a large sign labeled "Diesel Engines." Visitors from all over the world viewed the display and the name of Diesel Engine was cemented. Diesel became a celebrated man.