Count Albert De Dion was born of French noble descent and engineering genes. During his early years, he had an obsession with steam engines. De Dion entered a partnership with George Bouton building steam-powered carriages, and by 1895, had built several successful machines.
In the early 1890’s, the Count began to have doubts about the superiority of steam engines and started to experiment with internal combustion gasoline engines. In 1894, he designed a revolutionary single-cylinder engine of 137 cubic centimeters (cc) with an electric ignition and a speed of 3,000 rpm.