Jean Joseph Étienne Lenoir

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.