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COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS

JENNINGS RANDOLPH, West Virginia, Chairman EDMUND S. MUSKIE, Maine

HOWARD H. BAKER, JR., Tennessee JOSEPH M, MONTOYA, New Mexico JAMES L. BUCKLEY, New York MIKE GRAVEL, Alaska

ROBERT T, STAFFORD, Vermont LLOYD BENTSEN, Texas

WILLIAM L. SCOTT, Virginia QUENTIN N. BURDICK, North Dakota JAMES A. MCCLURE, Idaho DICK CLARK, Iowa

PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico
JOSEPH R. BIDEN, JR., Delaware

M. BARRY MEYER, Chief Counsel and Chief Clerk
BAILEY GUARD, Minority Clerk; RICHARD A. HELLMAN, Minority Counsel

LEON G. BILLINGS, Senior Staj Member

PHILIP T. CUMMINGS and Don ALEXANDER, Assistant Counsels Professional and Research Staff: HAROLD H. BRAYMAN, PAUL CHIMES, FRANCES T. CLARK, KATHERINE Y. CUDLIPP, KATHALEEN R. E. FORCUM, ANN GARRABRANT, RICHARD D. GRUNDY, WESLEY F. HAYDEN, RICHARD E. HEROD, CLARK NORTON, JUDY PARENTE, JOHN PURINTOX, A. DAVID SANDOVAL, JACQUELINE E. SCHAFER, CHARLENE STURBITTS, E. STEVEN Swain, SALLY WALKER, AND JOHN W. YAGO, Jr.

(II)

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

U.S. SENATE,
COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS,

Washington, D.C., September 7, 1973.
Hon. JENNINGS RANDOLPH,
Chairman, Committee on Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.

DEAR JENNINGS: At my request, the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress has prepared a history of development of the internal combustion engine for use in motor vehicles. This history provides valuable insights into many questions being asked about the role of the internal combustion engine today, and it provides important background on how the present situation evolves.

I believe that this document will be important to the members of the committee as they consider various issues relating to emissions from the internal combustion engine as part of the more general oversight of the Clean Air Act. Therefore, I request that this Library of Congress report be printed as a committee document for the use of the Members. Sincerely,

EDMUND S. MUSKIE, Chairman, Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution.

LETTER OF SUBMITTAL

THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS,
CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE,

Washington, D.C., August 3, 1973. To: Honorable Edmund S. Muskie, attention: Mr. Don Alexander. From: David E. Gushee, analyst, Environmental Policy Division. Subject: History and Future of Spark Ignition Engines.

In response to your request of May 25, 1973, to Mr. Bowman, we transmit herewith a report summarizing the results of our studies.

To determine the basis of the industry decision in the early 1900's to utilize the spark ignition engine, we have reviewed not only studies made of that era-one of the most prolifically chronicled eras in American industrial history—but have also examined a number of writings of the era itself.

To provide perspective on the issues facing both the auto industry and society as a whole today, we have reviewed the literature of social change and of the sociology of technological progress, in addition to that surrounding the specific points currently at issue.

Should copies of any of the references used be of interest to you, we will be happy to supply them.

(III)

LETTER OF REQUEST

May 25, 1973. Mr. WALLACE BOWMAN, Library of Congress, Environmental Policy Section, Congressional Research Service, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. BOWMAN: The Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution is currently examining the impact of auto emissions standards required to improve air quality. A key consideration in our examination is the role of the spark ignition internal combustion engine in the American transportation system, and its relationship to other alternative power systems which may be available.

I would appreciate it if the Library of Congress would conduct a study of the role of the present spark ignition engine in our transportation system. I would particularly like this study to focus on the history of the development of the spark ignition engine in America, other alternatives which were considered and the reasons why the spark ignition engine has become the engine of primary use, other alternative engines which may be available to date or in the near future, and factors which influence the auto manufacturers' continued preference for this engine over others which may be available.

I would appreciate it if this study could be completed by midsummer to aid in the committee's further considerations of auto emissions standards. Sincerely,

EDMUND S. MUSKIE, Chairman, Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution.

(IV)

CONTENTS

Page

1 1 2 5 5 7 9

12

15 19

25 27

34 45 54 63

Summary and conclusions-

Factors affecting early decisions in favor of spark ignition engines--

Factors influencing continued reliance on spark ignition engines.-
Early history of auto engines.-

The steam automobile-
Electric cars_-
Spark ignition.---

Diesel
Contemporary alternative power sources
Today's turmoil in perspective---
Selected writings on the choice of the spark ignition engine to power
automobiles

"The Great Automobile Race of 1895," Scientific American, May 1972-
Popular Science Monthly, 1900 :

“The Evolution and Present Status of the Automobile".
“Electric Automobiles".

“Gasoline Automobiles".
"Stearns' Big Trio,” The Motor World, October 4, 1900_
"Gasoline Motors for Automobiles," Scientific American Supplement,

February 24, 1900."Steam Abroad,” The Motor World, November 8, 1900."The Steam Automobile," Cassier's magazine, December 1900_. “Automobile Development," Outing, 1901."The Prospects for Economical Automobiling,” Scientific American

Supplement, 1901.-"Steam and Gasoline Automobiles," The Automobile, March 1902--"The Storage Battery and the Motor Car," North American Review,

July 1902.-"Steam Vehicles Can Regain Popular Favor," Cycle and Automobile

Trade Journal, April 1903_--"Gasoline and Steam Vehicles Compared,” The Horseless Age, July

1903 "The Future of the Electric Automobile," The Horseless Age,

April 1905--"The Ultimate Internal Combustion Motor and Its Probable Fuel,"

The Iron Age, January 1909---"Some Fundamental Relations Among the Elements and Compounds

as Regards the Suppression of Gasoline Detonation," Industrial and

Engineering Chemistry, April 1923_
"The Origin of the Automobile Engine,” Scientific American,

March 1967...
Automobiles of the World.-

64 67 68 74

78

83

86

88

89

97

102

105

108 114

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