Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 129,293 pages of information and 204,290 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Etienne Lenoir took out a French patent in 1860 for a gas engine with the charge ignited by an electric spark. Lenoir's engine was commercialized in sufficient quantities to be considered a success, a first for the internal combustion engine.
400 engines built in Paris by several firms, mainly Hippolyte Marinoni and Lefebvre. One of the French engines, used by the Compagnie parisienne d’éclairage et du chauffage par le gaz, is on display in Vienna Technical Museum.
A number of engines were made in the USA by the Lenoir Gas Engine Co in New York.
The cylinders, valves, and flywheels of the French and British examples are very similar, but most of the other details (bedplate, crosshead, etc) are different.