In September, 1913, among the passengers of the ferry "Dresden", next to England, was Rudolf Diesel. It is known that he boarded the ship, and... more nobody saw it. The mysterious disappearance of the famous German engineer is still one of the most intriguing and mysterious stories of the twentieth century.
Birth and childhood of genius
March 18, 1858 in a family of German immigrants, was born the future great German engineer. The man whose invention put him on a par with the famous people of the late XIX and early XX century. In Paris from Augsburg (Germany) moved to Theodor and Elise Diesel Strobel.
Father Rudolf was a hereditary bookbinder, one of his passions was the invention of toys. So, since early childhood Rudolf Diesel beginning to take up the work, carrying on the French capital bound father books to customers. It is possible that the first acquaintance of Rudolf Diesel with the world of technology has occurred in the technical Museum, which was not far from his home.
Every weekend, his father took the boy into the Museum hall, where a steam engine, the history of which begins with the year 1770. Life went on as usual, steadily and quietly. Family hardworking Germans did not have much wealth but not in poverty.
It ended in 1870 with the beginning of the Franco-Prussian war. Ethnic Germans in Paris becomes unsafe to live. Theodor Diesel was forced to leave all his possessions and with his wife and 12-year-old son Rudolph to move to London. German troops at that period occupied the capital of France. The capital of great Britain, unfriendly met the new residents.
Family of Diesel engines was experiencing a great need. The work was not, had to be interrupted by random orders for binding books. Then, in 1871, the family had decided to continue his studies send the young Rudolf Diesel in Augsburg, to the mother's brother, Professor of mathematics Christophe Barneclo.
Rudolf Diesel: biography of the inventor of the future
Before leaving, Rudolph firmly promised his parents that after graduation he would return home to help his father. However, after his son, two years later his parents moved to Augsburg.
The family of a Professor of Barnacle met his nephew fondly, the boy was surrounded by care and attention. Ability Rudolf was fascinated by the Professor, the uncle allowed him to use his extensive library. First class Rudolph to the family of Professor was weaving all old books, art, who was trained by his father. Communicate with an educated relative, of course, benefited from the young man. Today the whole world knows who invented the diesel engine. And then it was just beginning.
At the arrival of his nephew in Germany Professor Barnikel happy boy in a real school, which Rudolf Diesel graduated as the best student. After the initial formation of young talent in 1873 arrives in the Augsburg Polytechnic school, which graduated in two and a half years with the highest rates. The next step of a young scientist becomes the flow at the Munich Higher technical school, which was successfully completed in 1880.
Technical University of Munich in Bavaria (Germany) still keeps in his Museum the results of final examinations of the student of Rudolf Diesel, exceed are not, no student in the nearly century and a half history of the University.
The meeting, which turned his life
During his studies, Rudolf Diesel met the famous German engineer, developed a refrigeration equipment, by Professor Carl von Linde. It so happened that after a long illness of typhoid fever the student to the Diesel managed to pass the exams to the Professor. Rudolph was forced to leave the University and go to practice in Switzerland, sitting in the engineering company of the brothers, Sulzer.
A year later, Diesel returned to Germany, where he successfully completes the educational process, having passed final examinations Professor Carl von Linde. By the time the coach decides to leave teaching and come to grips with applied research in organized companies "Ladogeneratory Linda". Rudolf Diesel gets a place in the Paris branch of the company as a Manager.
For ten years, Rudolf Diesel perfected his knowledge in the field of thermodynamics. Mechanical refrigerator – that's worked for all this time, the German scientist Carl Linde company. The principle of operation of the refrigeration unit was evaporation and condensation of ammonia with a mechanical pump.
While studying at the University of R. Diesel was concerned about stand-alone power source for production. The industrial revolution was based on the inefficient and cumbersome steam engines, whose 10-percent coefficient of performance (COP) is clearly not responded to the growing needs in the energy field. The world needs to be compact and cheap sources of energy.
Diesel engine: the first production instance
In addition to the basic work of Rudolf Diesel conducted the research to create an effective thermal device that turned heat into mechanical energy. In their laboratory experiments Rudolf initially used ammonia as the working fluid of the installation. As fuel was used the powder from coal.
According to theoretical calculations, the engine of Rudolf Diesel was to work of compression in the working chamber of the body, which when combined with fuel would create a critical temperature for ignition.
In the course of the experiments it was found that the prototypes of the diesel engine had a small advantage over steam plants. This inspired the inventor to further work and experiments.
One day work on creation of the diesel engine was almost fatal to its inventor. A car bomb nearly caused the death of Rudolf Diesel. A German engineer was admitted to a Paris clinic. During the explosion, Rudolph suffered an injury of the eyeball. Until the end of life this problem was accompanied by the inventor.
Looking ahead, it should be noted that in 1896, Rudolf Diesel invented his first working copy, which was presented for all to see. With the financial support of the brothers, Sulzer and Friedrich Krupp, the world saw the engine producing 20 horsepower with an efficiency of 26% when the weight of the mechanical unit is five tons. Today this marvel of technological progress can be contemplate among the exhibits of the Museum of Engineering in the city of Augsburg (Germany).
The Berlin branch
After a partial recovery of vision in a Paris hospital Rudolf at the invitation of his teacher Karl von Linda has headed the Berlin branch of the company. Inspired by the success of Rudolf Diesel creates the industrial design of the engine, which had commercial success. A new power plant, the inventor called it an atmospheric gas engine.
However, such a long name did not stick, and the invention became known as simply “diesel” in honor of the founder of the unit. Numerous contracts, financial flows and steady demand for the new invention cause the Diesel to leave the branch of Carl von Linda and open your own plant for the production of diesel engines.
Could assume the parents sending your son for education to his uncle that by 40 years, he will become known around the world? In the autumn of 1900 in London there is a new company for the industrial production of diesel engines.
Further chronology of events is unfolding very rapidly:
- In 1903 the world saw the first ship with the engine of Rudolf Diesel.
- In 1908, the automotive industry received a compact diesel engine for freight transport.
- In 1910 when the train depot in England came the first locomotive with a diesel engine.
- The German company "Mercedes" began to produce its cars exclusively with diesel engines.
By that time, Rudolph Diesel had achieved success not only in his work. Personal life of the inventor has developed quite successfully. A loving wife and three children inspired him for further work.
The World Crisis
The largest engineering company in Europe and the United States of America stood in line to purchase licenses for the production of diesel engines. The world press constantly fueled interest in the invention of Rudolph Diesel, giving flattering features advantages of the new unit over other power plants.
R. Diesel became very rich. Alphonse Bush, the American tycoon in the production of beer, offered designer one million dollars for the right engine production in the United States. But it ended suddenly.
In 1913, the world crisis broke out. The inept distribution of financial flows led to the gradual bankruptcy of the Diesel enterprises.
The mystery of extinction
September 29, 1913 from Antwerp to London, went the steamer "Dresden". Among the passengers was Rudolf Diesel. Both died of the great industrialist and the inventor of the engine that still remains a mystery.
It is known that R. Diesel went to England for the opening of the new plant of Consolidated Diesel Manufacturing, where he was to be its engines. However, the final destination of the passenger with the surname Diesel was not.