inventor: János Csonka inventor, mechanical engineer
time of inventon: 1893

About the inventor

János Csonka

He was born in Szeged. After returning home from his study tours abroad, he started to work at the Technical University Budapest, as workshop leader. He was the co-inventor of the atomizer (carburetor), and the pioneer of the Hungarian engine and automotive industry.

He worked in the main roundhouse of the Alföld-Fiume Rails in Szeged, and later in the roundhouse of the Hungarian State Railways in Budapest. Furthermore, he also worked abroad in Vienna, Zurich and Paris. He was an eager learner and continuously further educated himself. Afterwards he became the head of the training workshop at the József Technical University (the predecessor of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics), which position he kept until his retirement. Between 1877 and 1880 Csonka attended university lectures. Due to his outstanding performance as an engineer, he was officially declared mechanical engineer by the Chamber of Engineers in 1924, in spite of not having a university degree.

He got to know Donát Bánki (the co-inventor of the carburetor) in 1887. Around the turn of century both received different assignments at the Technical University of Budapest. Donát Bánki became professor and the head of department, János Csonka had the opportunity to equip the new laboratory of mechanics and technology of the university. Although they separated as inventors, their friendship and cooperation never stopped. Apart from teaching, a long list of inventions marked János Csonka’s career. Among others, he designed and created a tensile strength measuring device for paper and textile, several instruments and pieces of measuring equipment, the first motor tricycle and parcel delivering postal automobile for the Hungarian Post. Csonka's mail-car rolled out of the garden of the Technical University at dawn on 31st May 1905. This day is regarded as the birthday of Hungarian automobile manufacturing. Furthermore, he was the first to design the first domestic compressed engine, fire engine motor, motor boat, mining locomotive engine and railcar engine. He also compiled the first special automobile dictionary


Carburetor (atomizer)

The carburetor, commonly referred to as atomizer, is a machine built for creating the suitable air and gas mixture for the Otto engines to work. It was patented by Donát Bánki and János Csonka in 1893. Interestingly, it just happened, that not much later Wilhelm Maybach, the famous engineer of the Daimler company, re-invented the device independently. Smaller motors and motorcycles are still operated by the atomizer, nevertheless, by now it is not commonly used in cars anymore, because of the spread of petrol. Using carburetor is still well-spread in case of motorcycles due to its low price and simplicity.