Jean Joseph Étienne Lenoir

Lenoir, Jean Joseph Étienne


Born Jan. 12, 1822, in Mussy-la-Ville, Luxembourg; died Aug. 4 (according to other sources, Aug. 7), 1900, in Varenne-St. Hilaire, France. French inventor, one of the creators of the internal combustion engine.

Lenoir lived in France beginning in 1838. At first he worked as a waiter. In the late 1840’s he became an inventor. In 1860 he constructed an internal combustion engine with a power output of about 8.8 kilowatts (12 hp), built as a one-cylinder, double-acting horizontal machine operating on a mixture of air and illuminating gas, with ignition provided from an external source. (The efficiency of this engine was below 4.65 percent.) Lenoir’s engine had a number of shortcomings; however, for small installations it gained some degree of acceptance, mostly in France. It was later displaced by an improved engine designed by N. Otto. Lenoir also invented a number of other processes and devices, notably the technology of obtaining galvanoplastic copies (1851), an electric brake (1855), and type-printing telegraph apparatus (1865).


Radtsig, A. A. Istoriia teplotekhniki. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936.