Chapter

Internal Combustion Engines

Vaclav Smil

in Creating the Twentieth Century

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195168747
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835522 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195168747.003.0003
 Internal Combustion Engines

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Invention and commercialization of automotive internal combustion engines was a multistranded process that began during the 1880s in Germany with design by Benz, Daimler and Maybach, and then received critical contributions from France, the UK, and the United States. Otto-cycle gasoline engines became the dominant prime movers in passenger cars as well as in the first airplanes, while diesel engines were initially limited to heavy-duty maritime and railroad applications. Line assembly introduced by Henry Ford provided a long-lasting solution to the mass manufacturing. The car industry eventually became the leading sector of modern economies and car culture has had a profound effect on many facets of modern life.

Keywords: internal combustion engines; Otto cycle; gasoline engines; diesel engines; passenger cars; Henry Ford; mass manufacturing; car industry; car culture

Chapter.  20069 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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