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Rudolf Diesel. Rudolf Diesel (1858-1913), German engineer, with an early diesel engine that he had designed. Diesel (right) was a brilliant student, graduating with the highest-ever marks from the Munich Technical University. In the 1890s he experimented with internal combustion engines. His design used the heat generated in compressing air in a cylinder to ignite a fuel mixture without needing a spark. The engine was heavy, but safe and efficient. It found uses in ships and locomotives, making Diesel a millionaire. He probably committed suicide, disappearing overboard from a ship. Photographed at Augsburg in 1893.
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