Lenoir's gas engine, 1860
Two-stroke double-acting single cylinder gas engine, patented by Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir, France, 1860, and made by Reading Iron Works Limited, Reading, Berkshire, England, 1865. The first internal-combustion engine to be offered for sale, in 1860, Lenoir's engine was an ancestor of the engines in all road vehicles. The engine worked very like a simple double-acting steam-engine. At each stroke gas and air were drawn into the cylinder and fired by an electric spark; on the return stroke the burnt gases were flushed out. Several hundred of these engines were sold, and this one is a very rare survivor. It had been used to drive machinery in the workshop of the Patent Museum for about three years.
- Heat Engines (non steam)
- Object Number:
- Gas Engine Co.
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