Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel

Photo added by Ruggero

Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel

Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Death 30 Sep 1913 (aged 55)
At Sea
Burial Buried or Lost at Sea, Specifically: Body left in the English Channel
Memorial ID 16273257 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Inventor. Born in Paris to Bavarian immigrant parents, he went on to become an important thermal engineer. He received a German patent for the internal combustion engine that bears his name in 1892, and had a testable model by 1893. It was the first internal combustion engine that was powered without the use of any sparking mechanism. It relied on compressing the fuel to the point of ignition. He fine-tuned the engine over the next three years, and licensed his engine to firms around the world (the first commercial use was in an American brewery), making him a millionaire by 1898. Besides being a master engineer, he was also a well-known social philosophist, touring the United States in 1904 as a lecturer, and self-publishing a book of social philosphy. He was a lifelong lover of the fine arts, and this posh lifestlye left him deeply in debt by September 1913. He accepted a consulting job in England, and boarded a steamer from Germany, crossing the English Channel. He ate dinner with friends, them went to his bedroom. The next morning, his room was found empty, and his coat was found neatly folded on the deck. A few days later, another boat found a body floating in the Channel, and stopped to remove personal effects. These items, including a coin purse and glasses case, were later identified by Diesel's family. The body was left at sea. Today, the Diesel engine is used in various applications around the world, powering everything from semi-trucks and locomotives to submarines and airplanes. Cause of death: In dispute, but presumed suicide by drowning

Bio by: Dustin Oliver


See more Diesel memorials in:


How famous was Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel?

Current rating:

85 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Dustin Oliver
  • Added: 21 Oct 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 16273257
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel (18 Mar 1858–30 Sep 1913), Find a Grave Memorial no. 16273257, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Buried or Lost at Sea, who reports a Body left in the English Channel.