Thought this might be interesting to all diesel owners out there: The diesel engine was patented on this day in history. (February 23rd)
In 1893 German engineer Rudolf Diesel patented the engine that bears his name, an internal combustion engine that doesn't require a spark to ignite the fuel-air mixture. Diesel was born in Paris to German parents and grew up in London, Paris and Munich. In the 1880s he worked as a refrigerator engineer in Munich, but returned to Paris to experiment with engines. In 1893 he won a patent for the diesel engine, but he continued to work on its development for years. The diesel engine allowed trains and ships to operate more efficiently with oil instead of coal, and Diesel quickly became a rich man. In 1913 he vanished overboard from a steamer bound for London; his body washed up ten days later. Some believe he committed suicide and cite his neurotic personality and numerous "breakdowns," and some believe he was murdered by either Germans (who resented his lack of nationalism) or by coal industrialists (who resented his engine).