Timeline of development
Various scientists and engineers contributed to the development of internal combustion engines:
• 1206: Al-Jazari described a double-acting reciprocating piston pump with a crank-connecting rod mechanism.
• 13th century: The rocket engine, an internal-combustion engine, is used by the Chinese, Mongols and Arabs.
• 1509: Leonardo da Vinci described a compressionless engine.
• 17th century: inventor Christiaan Huygens used gunpowder to drive water pumps, to supply 3000 cubic meters of water/day for the Versailles palace gardens, essentially creating the first rudimentary internal combustion piston engine.
• 1780's: Alessandro Volta built a toy electric pistol in which an electric spark exploded a mixture of air and hydrogen, firing a cork from the end of the gun.
• 1791: John Barber receives British patent #1833 for A Method for Rising Inflammable Air for the Purposes of Producing Motion and Facilitating Metallurgical Operations. In it he describes a turbine.
• 1794: Robert Street built a compressionless engine whose principle of operation would dominate for nearly a century.
• 1798: Tippu Sultan, the ruler of the city-state of Mysore in India, uses the first iron rockets against the British Army.
• 1807: Swiss engineer François Isaac de Rivaz built an internal combustion engine powered by a hydrogen and oxygen mixture.
• 1823: Samuel Brown patented the first internal combustion engine to be applied industrially. It was compressionless and based on what Hardenberg calls the "Leonardo cycle," which, as the name implies, was already out of date at that time.
• 1824: French physicist Sadi Carnot established the thermodynamic theory of idealized heat engines. This scientifically established the need for compression to increase the difference between the upper and lower working temperatures.
• 1826 April 1: American Samuel Morey received a patent for a compressionless "Gas or Vapor Engine."
• 1838: a patent...