DEUTZ Celebrates 150 Years of Engine No. 1

DEUTZ's Engine No. 1 atmospheric gas-powered engine made its debut in 1867 during the Paris Expo.

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The arrival of Engine No. 1, DEUTZ’s atmospheric gas-powered engine, in 1867 marked the beginning of a story of success for the company, which was then known as N.A.Otto & Cie. It was 150 years ago in Paris that the engine was presented to the global public for the first time.

In 1860, the Cologne businessman Nicolaus August Otto heard about the invention of a gas-powered machine by Étienne Lenoir. Inspired by this innovation, Otto decided to also devote his energies to combustion engine technology in order to further develop Lenoir’s idea. By 1864 Otto had founded the world’s first engine factory, under the company name N.A.Otto & Cie., together with Cologne engineer Eugen Langen. Their vision was of a machine that would power vehicles and be used in industry. Within a few years they had developed a gas-powered engine that worked on the atmospheric principle. In April 1867, this ‘atmospheric gas-powered engine’, which produced 0.5 hp at 80 rotations per minute, was presented to the global public for the first time at the Paris Expo.

The Paris Expo was a resounding success for the two businessmen from Cologne. The panel of judges awarded the atmospheric gas-powered engine the gold medal as the “most efficient drive machine” as it required just one third the amount of gas for propulsion as Lenoir’s machine.

For N.A.Otto & Cie., the company which would become today’s DEUTZ AG, the Paris Expo marked the beginning of the mass-produced combustion engine. The engine with the model designation 1 was sold at the exhibition to a Paris mechanic, but bought back in 1875 by Eugen Langen as a collector’s item. The atmospheric gas-powered engine therefore represents the starting point of the DEUTZ AG engine collection, which to this day can be viewed at the Technical Centre (Technikum) at the company’s Cologne-Porz site by prior arrangement.