Believe it or not, today is National Diesel Engine Appreciation Day. Annually, on February 23, we can celebrate the beginning of the diesel engine. On February 23, 1893, Rudolf Diesel was granted a patent for the diesel engine. Diesel came up with the engine after setting out to improve the efficiency of the Otto engine, a large, single-cylinder, four-stroke engine developed back in the 1870s.
Once Diesel came to the conclusion that the electric ignition process in that engine design and others like it could be done away with if air could be heated to at least its auto-ignition temperature. Shortly after, the German Patent 67207 titled—“Arbeitsverfahren und Ausführungsart für Verbrennungsmaschinen,” meaning “Working Methods and Techniques for Internal Combustion Engines”, was granted.
Since then, the diesel engine has become a pivotal part of everyday life and transportation. The first commercial engine using Diesel’s patent was installed by Adolphus Busch at his brewery in St. Louis, Missouri. Then, in later years, diesel engines were used to power submarines in World War 1 and eventually went on to power all military equipment in World War 2.
Now you see diesel engines powering all sorts of things including heavy construction machinery, farm tractors, large trucks, buses, locomotives, marine vessels, and even turned into power generators at airports and hospitals. It is clear that the diesel engine has proven to be a big player over the last century and today we celebrate this versatile engine on the anniversary of the day it was first patented.
Could you imagine a place without diesel engines? All the diesel equipment you’re used to seeing, imagine it all being gasoline-powered. Talk about different. Let us know what you think in the comments below!