A brief history of the internal combustion engine

On foot, on horseback or in a carriage – since the invention of the wheel, mankind’s options for traveling over land have changed 4.hardly developed for 000 years. This only changed with the tinkerers and inventors in the late 19th century. Century. Where the railroad made it possible to transport people and goods on a large scale, the internal combustion engine fundamentally changed the face of individual transportation. Our brief history of the internal combustion engine tells the story of how it was invented, how it found its way into the car, and how the risks of this rapid mobility innovation were countered.

One day in august 1888, the residents of wiesloch, bruchsal and durlach were astonished to see a three-wheeled vehicle rolling along the streets of their towns, resembling a cross between a carriage and a bicycle. Horses, however, are not to be seen far and wide. And the three passengers, a woman and two teenagers, don’t pedal either. The vehicle apparently drives under its own power – controlled by a crank held in the woman’s hand. the woman’s name is bertha benz, the teenagers are her sons richard and eugen, and the vehicle is benz patent motor car number 3.

Carl benz, bertha’s husband, patented the first version of the car in 1886 and demonstrated it at a public test drive in mannheim in July of the same year. "there is no doubt that this motorized velocipede will soon acquire numerous friends," the new badische landeszeitung on 4. June 1886 euphoric. But at first, hardly any buyers warm to the "gasoline-powered car," and it fails to achieve economic success. To encourage her husband and convince his contemporaries of the vehicle’s suitability for everyday use, bertha benz decides to take it for an extensive test drive – but without informing her hesitant husband in advance. Early in the morning, she sets off with her sons on the 104-kilometer journey from mannheim to her hometown of pforzheim, which she reaches safely after 12 hours and 57 minutes.

Her tour is regarded as the first long-distance trip in automotive history, and is now commemorated by the bertha benz memorial route. How big their advertising impact was at the time is still a matter of debate among researchers. One thing is certain: after that, the benz patent motor car will slowly but surely start to make economic progress. By 1893, 69 vehicles are sold, mainly to the u.s., england and especially france, where the first car enthusiasts are not quite so rattled thanks to good roads. At the turn of the century, benz& cie. Already 1.709 units of the motor car delivered. The number of company employees has increased tenfold to more than 430.

Neither horse nor pedal: Benz's patented motor carriage number 3 astonished the public in 1888 with its completely new type of drive

etienne lenoir and the hippomobile

Carl benz is the first to market a functional automobile with an internal combustion engine. But the development of the motor car dates back to the end of the 19th century. century virtually in the air. Numerous engineers, tinkerers and inventors experiment with engine technologies and build the first steam-powered cars, electric cars and also vehicles with internal combustion engines. As early as 1863, the belgian inventor etienne lenoir drove his "hippomobile" nine kilometers from paris to joinville-le-pont and back. It is powered by lenoir’s gas engine and a turpentine-based fuel, making it the first vehicle with internal combustion. Unlike the steam engine, the fuel is not burned outside and the resulting heat is conducted into the cylinder. The kinetic energy is generated by explosive combustion inside the engine.

But the hippomobile never gets beyond the experimental stage: its weight is too high, and its two-stroke engine only reaches 100 revolutions per minute. So the average speed is around six kilometers per hour. A pace that even a brisk hiker can almost keep up with. Benz’s patented motor car with its four-stroke engine can already reach 400 revolutions per minute and a top speed of 16 km/h. Benz was able to base its development on the preliminary work of nicolaus august otto – who in turn built on lenoir’s gas engine.

Nicolaus august otto and the four-stroke engine

Lenoir’s gas engine, patented in 1859, was considered a veritable sensation at the time and the first alternative to the large and heavy steam engine. Because unlike her, it no longer has to be preheated for a long time before it can start working. Supplied with town gas from the mains, the quiet engine drives printing presses or looms, for example. However, due to its design, it requires a very powerful water cooling system and, above all, an enormous amount of gas. Its efficiency is between three and four percent, which means that it can only convert a very small proportion of the energy contained in the fuel into mechanical kinetic energy.

Nicolaus august otto, a traveling salesman and self-taught technician, grasps the potential and limitations of this machine and sets about developing it further. In 1861, he had a lenoir engine rebuilt and realized that it would run better on spirit. in the same year, he and his brother wilhelm submit a patent specification for a spirit vaporizer. They justify the application with the independence of internal combustion engines from the gas grid and the possibility of moving dangerous vehicles on country roads. In the following year, he begins experimenting with the four-stroke engine, a principle that the French technician alphonse beau de rochas theoretically describes and patents independently of otto in the same year. Otto’s idea is to compress the mixture of air and gas to the maximum possible extent. This is the way to reduce the proportion of gas and thus reduce consumption. However, the piston has to move up and down twice in order to do the work once.

In practice, however, otto’s controlled combustion still causes problems, and the engines are destroyed during the tests. It takes twelve years, until 1876, for the first functioning four-stroke engine to be produced at the gasmotoren-fabrik deutz AG. It established the principle of intake, compression, operation and exhaust according to which virtually every internal combustion engine in a car or motorcycle works today: in the first stroke, the piston moves downward and draws a mixture of air and fuel into the cylinder through a valve. In the second stroke, the piston moves upward, compressing the mixture and heating it in the process. At the moment of maximum compression, the mixture is ignited by the spark of a spark plug. the pressure of the explosion pushes the piston down very quickly in the actual working stroke. In the fourth stage of the process, the piston rises again and forces the burnt gases out of the cylinder through a valve.

Daimler, maybach and the engine quadricycle

The engine is developed to production readiness by gottlieb daimler and wilhelm maybach, who have been working at deutz AG since 1872. The engine is a great success and sells well. But it is still too big and too heavy for mobile use. After a falling out with otto, daimler leaves deutz AG at the end of 1881 and establishes an experimental workshop in cannstatt, where maybach soon joins the team. Daimler’s goal is to develop small, fast-running internal combustion engines that can power vehicles on land and on water. As early as 1883, he applied for a patent for an improved single-cylinder four-stroke engine developed jointly with maybach. Its "gas engine with glow-tube ignition" produces 1 hp at 650 revolutions per minute. It’s small, relatively light and runs on gasoline – ideal conditions for use in a vehicle. 1885 daimler and maybach build the precursor of the motorcycle with the so-called "riding car. In october 1886, they put the grandfather clock engine into a carriage – the first automobile with four wheels. 1889 the 1.5 hp "motor-quadricyle," the "steel-wheeled car," celebrates its premiere as the first completely independent vehicle at the paris world’s fair. Eleven years later, they develop a car for the austrian businessman emil jellinek, whose body largely abandons the previous carriage principle and which, with its 35-horsepower engine, reaches a top speed of almost 90 kilometers per hour. The car is named after Jellinek’s daughter, who goes by the name of Mercedes.

A driver’s license is compulsory

Jellinek’s mercedes costs around 150 euros.000 mark. So it’s no wonder that at the turn of the century, automobiles remain a costly pleasure for the upper ten thousand. But even if initially only a few vehicles rattle along the roads, they are increasingly causing excitement or accidents. On 10. In March 1899, french president emile francois loubet therefore promulgated the world’s first road traffic regulations in the official journal, making driving licenses compulsory. More and more often, automobiles "startle horses, damage the ground, or simply kick up too much dust," is how the president explains the decision.

eleven years earlier, carl benz had already received the world’s first driver’s license from the grand duchy of Baden. It still takes a few years before a driver’s license becomes compulsory throughout germany. In prussia, the first fundamental regulation of the testing of motor vehicles and their drivers is issued in a ministerial decree dated 29 January 1876. September 1903. These are the tasks entrusted to the engineers of the steam boiler monitoring associations (DuV). After all, many of the early vehicles are still powered by steam engines, which the experts at the DuV are very familiar with. However, a nationwide regulation to check drivers and vehicles is still pending – and is becoming more urgent every year. Because the technology, which is still in its infancy, is prone to faults, and many drivers are unfamiliar with their vehicles.

1927 textbook for examiners

As early as 1906/1907, 36.022 vehicles on germany’s roads a figure of 145 traffic fatalities. The risk of falling victim to an accident is almost sixty times higher in relation to the number of automobiles than in 2017. The state must react. In 1909, safety in motorized road traffic was regulated for the first time for the entire country in the "Law on Motor Vehicle Traffic. Among other things, the ordinance stipulates that "motor vehicles must be roadworthy and, in particular, so constructed, arranged and equipped that there is no risk of fire or explosion and that there is no avoidable nuisance to persons or danger to motor vehicles through noise, smoke, steam or foul odors."Officially recognized experts are now responsible throughout germany for checking the safety of drivers and vehicles – including the experts from the DuV. At first, they can still perform this task alongside their other testing activities, because: compared to the steam boilers, the number of cars and their drivers is still vanishingly small.

From luxury good to means of mass transport

Henry ford has played a not insignificant role in ensuring that this will soon change. In 1913, the american automobile magnate used assembly lines for the first time in his factory in highland park, michigan, revolutionizing the production process for his "model T. As production costs fall, so do prices. Ford’s robust and easy-to-repair "tin lizzy" becomes a bestseller and sells around 15 million units by 1927. Other carmakers also learn from the ford principle and move away from manual production. Since 1919, 100 citroen type A cars have rolled off the assembly line in paris every day. In 1924, opel inaugurates the age of industrial production with the assembly line production of the "Laubfrosch" in russelsheim, germany.

As the number of cars grows, so does the need for testing. In the early 1920s, the north German DuV therefore sets up its own motor vehicle department, followed by the Hanover DuV in 1928. Because the steam boiler monitoring associations now also ensure safety in elevators and electrical systems, their name is changed in 1938. From then on, it was known as the technical monitoring association, or tuV.

At that time, however, cars only had to undergo a one-off inspection when they were registered. Many fleet owners still want to have their vehicles inspected regularly by the external experts. When a truck breaks down on the road, it ends up costing the company money. Initially, private motorists have little interest in voluntary safety checks, although police inspections repeatedly show that most vehicles have neither brakes nor lights that work properly.

The TuV is due

After the war, the car slowly but surely becomes a means of mass transportation and, during the economic miracle, a rolling symbol of growing prosperity. in munich alone, the number of cars on the road climbs by 20 percent a year between 1950 and 1960. The VW Beetle and later the Messerschmitt cabin scooter and the BMW Isetta made cars affordable for blue-collar and white-collar workers too. High time for the government to get to grips with the safety risk posed by unroadworthy cars. From 1951, the new road traffic licensing regulations require every vehicle to be inspected every two years after it is first registered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *