Philippe Lebon

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Lebon, Philippe


Born May 29, 1769 (according to other sources, 1767), in Brachay, Champagne; died Dec. 2, 1804, in Paris. French engineer; professor of mechanics at the School of Bridges and Causeways in Paris. In the 1790’s he began experiments on the production of illuminating gas by dry distillation of wood, and in 1799 a patent for the method was issued to him. In the same year Lebon developed the thermo-lampe, using illuminating gas. In 1801 he proposed a design for a gas internalcombustion engine using a compressed mixture of gas and air.


Beaujouan, M. G. “Philippe Lebon, a-t-il été assassiné?” Journal des Usines à gaz, 1955 [vol.] 79, no. 1.
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Si, comme il le rappelle, la figure idealisee du heros macedonien que l'on croise chez Wauquelin sert sans nulle doute a encourager et a legitimer les ambitions territoriales du duc Philippe le Bon et des princes bourguignons, il ne faut pas oublier que la valorisation de la personnalite du conquerant est loin d'etre systematique dans la tradition medievale.