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Rudolf Diesel, His Invention and Mysterious Death


Dr. Rudolf Diesel boarded “SS Dresden”, a cross-channel ferry, at Antwerp in September 1913. He was going to see the newest diesel engine factory of London. The famous engineer was invited as a guest of honor to the opening of that factory. He was traveling alone. After dinner Rudolf Diesel went to his cabin at about 10 p.m. and that was the last time anyone saw him alive. His cabin turned out to be absolutely empty next morning on September, 30. There were only his coat and hat left on the deck.

Ten days later, Dutch fishermen found an unknown body in the stormy waters of the North Sea. Seamen realized that he was a rich man as he wore expensive clothes. Their boat was too small and that’s why they took only his papers and belongings and threw the body back into the sea.

Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel (born 18.03.1858 in Paris – died 30.09.1913 on the English Channel) was an exceptional German inventor of the famous Diesel engine, talented engineer, and “the James Watt of the late nineteenth century”.

He spent his peaceful childhood with the friendly Diesel family in Paris. Rudolf was a very stubborn and persistent young man who loved music and art. He spoke English, German and French.

Family happiness was broken by the Franco-Prussian War. The Diesels were deported to London. Rudolf lived with his relatives in Augsburg where he studied at the Royal Country Trade School. He became an extraordinary student at Technische Hochschule of Munich.

The idea of inventing a high economical engine appeared in Diesel’s mind when he was a student. Carl von Linde, the pioneer of refrigeration, and his lectures influenced young Diesel and sparked his interest in engines. Now he knew what the sense of his life was.
Diesel was a hard-working engineer who dedicated all of his spare time to the invention of a new engine. At the same time he had to earn a lot of money to help his family in France. But fortune favors the brave. At last the success came to him in 1892. Diesel was granted a German patent for the engine, named after him.



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