It has nothing to do with mechanical drive, nor the differences between electrical motors and inner combustion engines. Prior to the widespread adoption of gasoline and diesel engines, in reality, the word “engine” was used to describe things like apparatuses for catching recreation, nets, traps and decoys, in accordance with Fuller. The phrase “engine” comes from the Latin phrase “ingenium.” An engine is a device or system (electrical, mechanical, chemical, or even social, human, or political) which effects a result.
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Heat engines, like the interior combustion engine, burn a fuel to create heat which is then used to do work. Electric motors convert electrical power into mechanical movement, pneumatic motors use compressed air, and clockwork motors in wind-up toys use elastic vitality. In organic systems, molecular motors, like myosins in muscular tissues, use chemical energy to create forces and ultimately movement. When the electrical motor appeared, people saw a key difference between it and the steam engine. The latter had an obvious source of power in its fuel; the source of vitality of the former was less clear, being equipped mysteriously from a battery or generator by the use of wires.
By the top of the 19th century, the Second Industrial Revolution had dotted the panorama with steel mills and factories, steamships and railways, and a new word was needed for the mechanisms that powered them. Rooted in the idea of movement, “motor” was the logical choice, and by 1899, it had entered the vernacular because the … Read More