The Diesel Story (foto YouTube)
Meet Rudolf Diesel (foto Telegram)


Published on 2 jun. 2019

The Diesel Story is a short 1952 film that gives viewers a brief overview of how early internal combustion engines functioned as well as a short history of the development of the diesel engine from the different prototypes developed by Rudolf Diesel during the late 19th to the modern diesel engines used in a wide variety of machines. The film opens with footage of men crushing grain by hand, a windmill, and an industrial town. Coal miners mine coal with pickaxes. The film shows some of the early internal combustion engines (02:05), such as the four stroke Otto silent gas engine. Animation is used to show how a four stroke engine works (02:42). Two men climb into an early car model and take it for a drive (03:10). Next, the film shows the “hot bulb” engine designed in 1890 by Akroyd Stuart (03:30). A “Hornsby-Akroyd” hot bulb engine model is on display. A man turns the flag wheel of the engine (04:14), and the film uses animation to show how the piston and hot bulb function. Viewers see a picture of Rudolf Diesel (06:15), who creates a new engine. There is a close up shot of a glass cylinder and piston (06:54), which was used in the diesel engine. Animation shows the process of combustion in this design. The film then uses a reenactment of Rudolf Diesel and his team working on diesel prototypes in Augsburg, Germany (08:00). Animation is again used to show the addition of adding an air pump to the engine. This new design is tested in the Augsburg workroom (09:50). The men observe the new engine, which they complete in 1897 (11:25). A diesel engine is used to drive electric generators (12:26). Footage shows the first diesel engine ocean going ship, the Selandia, as it sets sail (12:47). (13:18) The ship heads for Bangkok. The film shows other diesel ships, including the Rinovia. Next, the film gives viewers a look at some of the developments of the diesel engine during the first half of the 20th century: an air blast method and jerk type pump (15:18), an airless injection, and a new high speed engine (16:00). Two men conduct a starting test of a high speed engine in a cold test room (16:26). The film shows some of the new high speed diesel engine types used for trains, tractors, and small machines before concluding with footage of scientists in petroleum laboratories studying fuel development.

The Otto engine was a large stationary single cylinder internal combustion four stroke engine designed by the German Nikolaus Otto. It was a low RPM machine, and only fired every other stroke due to the Otto cycle, also designed by Otto.

The Hornsby-Akroyd oil engine was the first successful design of internal combustion engine using “heavy oil” as a fuel. It was the first to use a separate vapourising combustion chamber and is the forerunner of all hot bulb engines. Early internal combustion engines were quite successful running on gaseous and light petroleum fuels. However, due to the dangerous nature of gasoline and light petroleum fuel, legal restrictions were placed on their transportation and storage. Heavier petroleum fuels, such as kerosene, were quite prevalent, as they were used for lighting. However, heavier oils posed specific problems when used in internal combustion engines.

We encourage viewers to add comments and, especially, to provide additional information about our videos by adding a comment! See something interesting? Tell people what it is and what they can see by writing something for example: “01:00:12:00 – President Roosevelt is seen meeting with Winston Churchill at the Quebec Conference.”

This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit


Meer informatie