Building on that work, in 1864 two German engineers named Nicolaus August Otto and Eugen Langen founded a company that made engines similar to Lenoir’s model. Otto gave up managing the company and started working on an engine design that he had been toying with since 1861. His design led to what we now know as the four-stroke engine, and the basic design is still used in cars today.
It wouldn’t be until 1860 that a reliable, working internal combustion engine would be invented. A Belgian fellow by the name of Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir patented an engine that injected natural gas into a cylinder, which was subsequently ignited by a permanent flame near the cylinder. It worked similarly to the gunpowder atmospheric engine, but not too efficiently.
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