Etienne Lenoir, French engineer

Etienne Lenoir, French engineer

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Etienne Lenoir (1822-1900), French engineer and inventor of the internal combustion engine. A self-taught engineer, Lenoir also worked on electroplating and telegraphy. Designed in 1859, his engine was powered by coal gas. The engine was a two-stroke piston and cylinder design, and was used to power a 'horseless carriage' and a boat but the engine was only 4 percent efficient and of little use. Lenoir, awarded the Legion of Honour in 1881 for his telegraphy work, died in poverty. Artwork from 'Moteurs' (1911) by French civil engineer Max de Nansouty (1854-1913), part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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