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King of the 4-Stroke Engine, Nikolaus Otto

When you feel your car's engine shift either on its own or by you (for those few people who still drive stick), you should give a little nod to Nikolaus Otto, who invented the world's first internal combustion engine that used the four-stroke cycle. It provided an alternative power source to the steam engine and chnaged the world of cars literally overnight.

From Campbell's Bodyshop & Wrecker Service, here are some intriguing facts about the life and achievements of Nikolaus Otto, a significant figure in the history of automobiles. If you drive a car in Spartanburg, SC or anywhere in the world, you are using a four-stroke engine and Nikolaus Otto was one of the main reasons why.

Engineer Nikolaus Otto was born in 1832 in Holzhausen, Germany. In 1861, he invented a gasoline-powered engine and a few years later produced the first internal-combustion engine with four-stroke cycle. The four-stroke cycle provided the world with an alternative to the steam engine.

Despite being patented by Alphonse Beau de Rochas, the four-stroke cycle will always be known as the Otto cycle.

Otto was familiar with the concept of compressed fuel charge and attempted to invent an engine using this principle in 1861. When he made his first prototype, it ran for a few minutes before breaking down. Otto's brother gave up on the concept, which meant that he had to start looking for help elsewhere.

Otto was short on funds, so in 1864 he began searching for investors to fund his research and development. He met Eugen Langen whose father was a sugar industrialist, and in conjunction they began a partnership and named the company "NA Otto & Cie" in the city of Cologne. This was the very first company on the planet that concentrated solely on the design and manufacturing of internal combustion engines.

The Otto & Langen engine consumed less than half the gas of any competing engine and because of that, it made their engine an enormous commercial triumph.

After his success with the Otto & Langen engine, Otto started focusing on the 4-stroke cycle concept that had failed back in 1862. With the help of engine geniuses Franz Rings and Herman Schumm, Otto was able to create the world's first successful 4-stroke engine.

Otto married Anna Gossi and they had seven children. Their son Gustav Otto grew up to become an aircraft builder. Nikolaus Otto died in 1891.

We strive to bring you relative content from  Campbell's Bodyshop & Wrecker Service in Spartanburg , SC .

Sources: Wikipedia, MSN and AOL

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