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Charles Yale Knight

1868-1940

Charles Yale Knight was an American inventor and engineer celebrated for his pioneering work in automotive technology, most notably the development of the Knight Engine and his contributions to creating quieter and smoother-running automobiles.

Born on February 24, 1868, in Stonington, Connecticut, Knight showed an early fascination with mechanical systems. His breakthrough came with the invention of the "Sleeve Valve Engine" in the early 20th century. Unlike traditional engines that used poppet valves, Knight's design used sliding cylindrical sleeves to control the flow of gases in and out of the combustion chambers. This innovative concept resulted in an engine that was notably quieter, smoother, and more efficient compared to engines with conventional valves.

Knight's engine design had a profound impact on the automotive industry, as it significantly reduced the noise, vibration, and harshness associated with internal combustion engines of the time. The sleeve valve engine found popularity in luxury and high-end automobiles, providing a more refined driving experience. Many manufacturers, including Daimler, Minerva, and Willys-Overland, adopted the Knight Engine in their vehicles.

In addition to his engine innovations, Knight was also passionate about aviation and held multiple patents in that field. He even designed an experimental aircraft powered by a radial engine.

Charles Yale Knight
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