The inventor's tragic end

With confidence in himself and his engine and increasingly successful financially, Rudolf Diesel founded his own companies, such as Dieselmotoren-Fabrik AG. He invested in real estate and oil fields in Galicia. In 1901, his family of five purchased a luxury villa in Munich's prestigious district of Bogenhausen and enjoyed an upper-class lifestyle. However, the inventor proved to be a poor businessman. The companies that he founded failed. Due to poor investments, Diesel lost a lot of money, which he concealed from his family.

Disappearance without trace

In 1913, Diesel planned a trip to the General Meeting of Shareholders in London and a visit to the official opening of the plant in Ipswich on 30 September. However, he never arrived. In the night from 29 to 30 September, he disappeared without trace from on board the "Dresden" mail steamer when crossing the English Channel. After going to his cabin in the evening, he was never seen again. Whether this was suicide, an accident or even murder remains a mystery to this day.

Wallet, penknife, spectacle case and pillbox

On 10 October, the crew of a Dutch pilot vessel discovered his body in the water, but they were unable to recover it and had to leave it at sea. Some items of clothing that the body was wearing and that the sailors were able to retrieve were clearly identified by Diesel's son as belonging to his father. Among them were items such as a wallet, penknife, spectacle case and pillbox belonging to the missing person. After his death, virtually none of the once impressive assets were left.