Skip to comments.[RUDOLF DIESEL DIES 100 YEARS AGO TODAY] History: Rudolf Diesel dies mysterious Death
Posted on 09/29/2013 4:48:47 PM PDT by golux
Its a cold and stormy day on October 10th 1913 when the crew of the pilot vessel Coertsen pulls a body out of the water in the English channel. As was customary, they strip it of any personal effects that might help with identification and give it back to the water. They were identified as the belongings of Rudolf Diesel, father of the engine of the same name.
Having been born in Paris in 1858, his family had to flee to England in 1870 because of the war between France and Germany. Due to the poverty they were now living in, young Rudolf was sent to foster parents in Augsburg, Germany where he aced school, determined to become an engineer. At university in Munich he learns that steam engines only had about six to ten percent efficiency, and is appalled. He is now determined to invent an engine that is much more efficient.
In February 1892, his new type of engine gets patented, but there are still problems. The engine isnt running smoothly. In need of partners, he sells the rights to his engine to the Augsburger Machinenfabrik (later MAN) and Krupp. As the leader of the development team he works hard, but it takes years until his engine runs smoothly. During these years, he ruined his health, and also made some very bad financial decisions.
Today in Automotive History: Rudolf Diesel dies mysterious Death
Even when his engines are running smoothly and are being used and produced almost all over the world, his former wealth is dwindling. In August 1913 he is basically, bankrupt. In some last attempt to broker a new deal, he boards a ship to England on September 29th. He never made it to the other shore. His hat and coat were found close to the railing, the bed in his cabin was untouched. Fellow passengers say that he was in a good mood that evening.
Was it suicide, an accident, or even murder? All we know is that Rudolf Diesel died 100 years ago today.
Big Steam got him.
I think it was Big Spark.
The engine was first called a ‘Rudolph’, before it was called Diesel, and that’s the origin of the song lyrics ‘Run, Run Rudolph’, in case you’ve been wondering!
1936 Hanomag Rekord
1936 Mercedes-Benz 260 D
My 95 daily driver diesel has 286,000 miles. My 85 diesel has 357,000 miles. Regular maintenance only - regular oil changes at 5k. Diesel designed his engine to run on peanut oil, but he died before he could market his engine successfully. His proteges moved things forward using distilled petroleum.
Three primary differences between diesel and gas engines:
1. Diesel engines are designed to withstand twice the internal pressures as gas engines.
2. Byproduct of burning diesel is oily soot. The byproduct of burning gas is abrasive carbon.
3. Diesel is an oil. Gasoline is a solvent. When diesel gets past rings and gaskets, it doesn’t break down crankcase oil as dramatically as diesel.
Diesel was brilliant.
When diesel gets past rings and gaskets, it doesnt break down crankcase oil as dramatically as diesel.
Me thinks you meant to say does not break down crankcase oil as dramatically as GAS.
I did not know that!
Clesse Cummins furnished the engines for an early arctic naval expedition and made sure they would run on whale oil so the team could harvest their own fuel if needed
Whale oil is good stuff. It took a long time to find a good substitute in automatic transmission fluid when the Endangered Species Act took it off the market in 73.
You sure about that run run Rudolph thing? Can’t find a source verifying it and would love to
Then there’s Adolph the BROWN-nosed reindeer, he can run as fast as Rudolph, trouble is he can’t STOP as fast. ;)