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Online Catalogue last updated 17th of September 2023

Diesel's Engine The Man, and the Evolution of the World's Most Efficient Internal Combustion Motor by C. Lyle Cummins Jr.

cover photo

This book is written by Lyle Cummins, the author of another popular engine text book "Internal Fire". Lyle Cummins is suitabley qualified to tell the story of diesel engines, his father founded Cummins Diesels. Lyle himself is a mechanical engineer and has 5 patents on developments that he has made to the diesel engine.

There has been 20 years of research put into this text book, with exhaustive searches of corporate and museum archives in Europe and the US. There are many reference sources that have never been translated to English before.

It covers the history of Rudolf Diesel and his engine. All the problems and difficulties encounted by him, with his ideas being ahead of their time. How the engine failed to work until new technology was found.

The early development of the theoretical engine is covered along with the first prototypes. The first commercial marine diesel engines in 1903 are discussed along with the early locomotive and automotive engines up to 1918.

The comprehensive history of our most efficient internal-combustion engine from Rudolf Diesel's early life and maturing ideas through the submarine triumphs of 1914-1918.

Diesel's Engine is the readable and inclusive history of a man and an engine. It traces the life of an obsessed engineer and his contemporaries who struggled to bring the world's most efficient heat machine to the marketplace. Rudolf Diesel's ideas were often ahead of their time, and his engine endured failures and setbacks until new technologies were found. Only interim, imaginative solutions overcame the frustrating problems encountered.

What Rudolf invented is seen from the perspective of his peers and of historical hindsight.

His engine created an international industry through the struggles of risk-taking licensees who turned it into a reliable, land-based power plant. It soon went to sea as propulsion for commerce and underwater weapons of destruction.

These dedicated licensee companies, with their strengths and frailties and the gradually maturing products they built, are related with an understanding and empathy by one who both knew of and faced similar experiences at a later time.

Above all, Diesel's Engine is about a troubled man who devoted his life to a dream, yet at his zenith of fame lost control over its fate. Others reaped its rewards

The book has many original reference sources - many never before translated or printed in English. It relates to the influence of fuels, their availability and cost on engine development and marketing, as well as the evolving understanding and progression of fuel injection systems.

Lyle Cummins is uniquely qualified to tell the diesel story. He came from a family of American automotive diesel pioneers. His career as a mechanical engineer included the design, development and marketing of diesel engine retarders and fuel systems for which he was granted five U.S. patents. Cummins has devoted over two decades exhaustively researching his subject in corporate and museum archives throughout Europe and the United States to provide his definitive history of the diesel.

The book is very comprehensive with 456 photos and drawings.

Code No. 005274, 750 pages, ISBN 9781642340549, $145.00

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