Engine

Engine

1712

From the 1712 Newcomen steam engine through to Karl Benz’s two-stroke petrol engine used in cars and on to today’s hi-tech hydrogen varieties, there is no doubt that the engine is one of the most significant inventions ever. Its usefulness has essentially been unrivalled for over 300 years as a motive force and, looking to the future, it seems to have plenty of life left in it. We pick out some of the key developments in its evolution now…

Steam engine

Steam engine

Steam engines date back to the first century CE, but it wasn’t until Thomas Newcomen’s engine in 1712 that they became useful machines.

Petrol engine

Petrol engine

Karl Benz’s invention of a reliable two-stroke petrol engine marked the end of the steam engine and led to the proliferation of the motor car.

Diesel engine

Diesel engine

While the petrol engine was more momentous, Rudolf Diesel’s creation of the diesel equivalent was just as useful and more eco-friendly too.

Electric engine

Electric engine

When Camille Jenatzy built an electric car in 1899, his electric engine was openly mocked. The car went on to break the land speed record.