Today marks the birthday of Rudolph Diesel, who invented the engine that bears his name. He unveiled his new device at the 1900 World’s Fair, showing how it could run on peanut oil. His goal was to produce an engine that was clean burning and could be fueled by widely available vegetable oils. Unfortunately, diesel engines came to mean smoke and pollution to many. Now, Rudolph Diesel’s vision is coming to fruition, not only with the introduction of lower-sulphur fuel and biodiesel but with the development of sophisticated, quiet and efficient engines based on Diesel’s ideas.