DEUTZ AG is remembering its founder and the inventor of the four-stroke engine Nicolaus August
Otto in 2012, the 180th anniversary of his birth.
Born on 14 June 1832, Nicolaus August Otto trained as a businessman but soon turned to internal
combustion engine technology. Following initial attempts at designing a four-stroke engine by him-
self, Otto joined forces with the Cologne-based engineer and sugar producer Eugen Langen in Co-
logne, where they founded N.A. Otto & Cie. Now known as DEUTZ AG, it was the world's first facto-
ry dedicated solely to manufacturing internal combustion engines.
An atmospheric gas-powered engine developed by Otto and Langen was showcased in 1867 at the
World Exposition in Paris, where it won the accolade of the most efficient drive machine. In 1876,
Otto's four-stroke engine became the first internal combustion engine in the world that could be de-
veloped for all fuels and applications. Otto's final contribution to the internal combustion engine was
the development of a low-voltage magneto ignition, which ended the dependency of internal com-
bustion engines on mains gas supplies. He died in Cologne on 26 January 1891 at just 59 years of
age. The inventor of the four-stroke engine has been honoured with a memorial in Cologne's Mela-
ten cemetery. His legacy also lives on through the German word for the gasoline engine: Ottomotor.
For further information on this DEUTZ press release, please contact:
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