to "History of Cars"
of the most important landmarks in engine design comes from Nicolaus Otto
who in 1876 invented an effective gas motor engine. Nicolaus Otto built
the first practical four-stroke internal combustion engine called the "Otto
Cycle Engine," and when he completed his engine, he built it into a motorcycle.
was born on June
14, 1832 in Holzhausen, Germany. Otto's first occupation was as a traveling
salesman selling tea, coffee, and sugar. He soon developed an interest
in the new technologies of the day and began experimenting with building
four-stroke engines (inspired by Lenoir's two-stroke gas-driven internal
combustion engine). After meeting Eugen Langen, a technician and owner
of a sugar factory, Otto quit his job, and in 1864, the duo started the
world's first engine manufacturing company N.A. Otto & Cie (now DEUTZ
AG, Köln). In 1867, the pair were awarded a Gold Medal at the Paris
World Exhibition for their atmospheric gas engine built a year earlier.
In May 1876, Nicolaus
Otto built the first practical four-stroke piston cycle internal
combustion engine. He continued to develop his four-stroke engine after
1876 and he considered his work finished after his invention of the first
magneto ignition system for low voltage ignition in 1884. Otto's patent
(see drawing below) was overturned in 1886 in favor of the patent granted
to Alphonse Beau de Roaches for his four-stroke
engine. However, Otto built a working engine while Roaches' design stayed
on paper. On October 23, 1877, another patent for a gas-motor engine was
issued to Nicolaus Otto, and Francis and William Crossley.
Nicolaus Otto died at age 59, on
January 26, 1891, in Cologne.
Nicolaus Otto invented the gas motor
engine. An engineer and experimenter, Nicolaus Otto invented the first
practical alternative to the steam engine in 1876 -- the first four-stroke
internal combustion engine. He called it the "Otto Cycle Engine," and as
soon as he had completed his engine, he built it into a motorcycle.
The foundation of the modern engine
Brief biography of Nicolaus
of the Otto Langen Engine
and his Choice of Fuels
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