Letters and Miscellanies

Brons and Hvid

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In reference to Patent Page, December 2005, thanks for reminding me what I wrote in Diesel's Engine about Rasmus Hvid probably 25 years ago now! Hvid certainly introduced a new and cheap form of compression ignition engine to America, but in all fairness credit should also be given to Jan Brons of Holland who had patented and was building the same basic engine years before Hvid's beginning in 1904. In Diesel's Engine, pages 388-398, one can clearly see that Hvid copied Brons' patent so closely that he was forced to buy from Brons the American rights to the Brons patents. Hvid only patented some minor "improvements" over Brons.

Having had the pleasure of arguing cases to receive patents for Dad and myself, I have always wondered how Hvid was ever granted most of his patents! Other than in this country the engine is known as the Brons, and Hvid is considered only a licensee.

Lyle Cummins
P.O. Box 301
Wilsonville, OR 97070