No matter where you are sitting, we all owe a lot to this week’s featured inventors, Leonard Dyer and Nikola Tesla. The first is a man that history has perhaps forgotten, while the second is someone whose name may be a bit more familiar. Either way, their visions may not be seen until the future.
Leonard Dyer is the man who patented the six-stroke engine (patent #1125079). Never heard of it? Well, there may be good reason for that. Engines today are split between two and four-stroke engines. What’s the difference? Two-stroke engines tend to be lighter and therefore easier to construct. Also, because they have twice the amount of power strokes per revolution, they pack more power per size. Thus they are good for things such as chain saws, lawnmowers, and other lawn machinery. Furthermore, smaller vehicles like mopeds, boats, and snowmobiles often rely on two-stroke engines.
On the other hand, four-stroke engines last longer than two-stroke engines. They are quieter and do not produce the smell that one associates with a two-stroke engine. Also, two-stroke engines generally require a gas-oil mix, which can be expensive, especially if you forget to add the oil. Because it uses less oil, a four-stroke engine is considered to be less polluting and gets more miles per gallon. As you can imagine, the six-stroke engine (not to be confused with a 6-cylinder engine, or V-6), attempts to take it a step beyond this. However, no automakers are currently using this, despite the fact that Dyer invented it over 100 years ago (and the four-stroke engine has been around for even longer – since the 1870s). Still, some have not given up on the dream of a six-stroke engine and hope that it will eventually be commercially accepted.
The second inventor, Nikola Tesla, was a contemporary and, ultimately, rival of Edison. Edison hoped to power the world through his use of direct current electricity, while Tesla preached the wonders of alternating current, which could be transmitted further and much more powerfully than direct current. In 1888, Tesla was granted a patent for his version of transmitting power (patent # 382280). This would be one of the few battles Edison would lose.
So how does this affect automobiles? Well, clearly cars use electricity, and the more gadgets that we place in them, the more electricity used. Also, Tesla went on to invent a type of engine, the AC induction motor, but this is used more in industry and household appliances. Beyond this, though, Tesla is viewed as a genius and inspiration to many others. For this, his name is living on in the automobile industry, with Tesla Motors being the most notable example.
Tesla Motors is the most successful electric automobile company today. While many other electric vehicle companies have tried and failed, Tesla actually turned a profit for the first time in the first quarter of 2013. Furthermore, Tesla seems to be succeeding in taking on the major car manufacturers that have also shown interest in electric cars. Tesla struggled early on, but its fortunes began to change with its introduction of the Roadster. Then came the Model S, which received an almost perfect score from Consumer Reports (99 out of 100). It can get up to 265 miles between charges, and there are plans to build supercharging stations to allow customers to take their vehicles on longer trips. Clearly Tesla’s strategy has been effective, as income rose from just over $200 million in 2011 to over $2 billion two years later. Accordingly, its stock price has risen from $33 a share two years ago to over $200 today.
So we have one inventor who has largely been forgotten and who’s patent still is not in production after over 100 years, and another whose very work is considered genius. This is pretty much where all inventors fall between. At US Patent Services, we have you covered no matter where you fall on this scale. We have items for the small-time patent recipients, like mugs to commemorate the occasion, to whole walls designed to show off a person or company with extensive patents. Please click on website to take a look at all we have to offer.