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GB Patent: GB-179,401,979
Exerting, putting and continuing in motion, pneumatic, chemical or pneumato-chemical apparatus, by the decomposition, recomposition, expansion and condensation (separately or conjointly) of permanently elastic fluids
Thomas Mead - Sculcoates, county York, England

USPTO Classifications:

Tool Categories:
propulsion and energy : internal combustion engines : gas and gasoline engines


Not known to have been produced


Patent Dates:
Granted: Mar. 06, 1794

Patent Pictures:
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This is the first patent for an internal combustion gas engine using something like the Otto cycle. Howevr, from an 1886 Scientific American Supplement article on gas engines: "In 1794 Thomas Mead obtained a patent for an engine using the internal combustion of gas; the description is not a clear one, his ideas seem confused."

From an article in the 1916-02-03 issue of The Automobile: "Another Englishman, Thomas Mead, in 1794, patented a very crude device for generating either vacuum or pressure by the use of heat. This was a large cylinder with cocks at top and bottom and a grate for carrying coals which could be introduced by removing the top head of the cylinder. When the top head was replaced the grate would be released and allowed to move downward as the air below passed through the grate, which passage heated and expanded it and created a pressure and volume that could be used to perform work. If not otherwise used this pressure would drive downward a piston fitted near the bottom of the cylinder."

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