On this day in auto history – February 23rd

Tue 23rd Feb 2021

It was on this day in 1893 that celebrated German engineer, Rudolf Diesel, first received a patent for the engine which would bear his name.

The diesel engine differed from petrol engines in the way that it utilised compressed air in the cylinder rather than a spark to ignite the fuel.

By 1912 there were more than 70,000 diesel engines working around the world, mostly in factories and generators, but Diesel himself wouldn’t live to see his engine revolutionise the railroad and motor industries.

He disappeared in mysterious circumstances during a steamship voyage to Britain in 1913. Conspiracy theories began to fly immediately with suicide and murder the most prominent line of thoughts.