Léon Levavasseur

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Léon Levavasseur was born in Cherbourg, France back in1863.  Initially he wanted to study fine arts, but switched to engineering, his focus was in arc lamps and petroleum engines.  He approached Jules Gastambide with a proposal about an idea he had. Jules financed the venture naming the invention after his daughter Antoinette.

The Antoinette company was incorporated in 1906, with Jules as president and Léon as technical director.  In 1906, Léon experimented with the construction of aircraft.  In 1909, his design at Reims, France won the altitude prize, finished second in the speed competition, took third place in the Gordon Bennett Cup for airplanes.  In 1918, he began working on an aircraft with variable wins surface, he won a “Safety in Airplanes” prize and was later acquired by the French Government.  He died in poverty in 1922, he was 59.

What you may not know about Léon is that engine named Antoinette was the first V-8 engine built, he also invented direct fuel injection and the first liquid engine cooling device.

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Comments (16)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - Monsieur Levasseur was working on a much different level than I have ever operated.  To say the least.  

May 23, 2021 04:18 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, James... I would never have expected those inventions to have happened that early in history.

May 23, 2021 05:07 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

I would love to have my "HEMI" back!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

May 23, 2021 05:09 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Must say I had no idea the V8 was invented that early. It was certainly popular in the 50's and 60's! Enjoy your day.

May 23, 2021 05:15 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

Have a great day and an outstanding week.

May 23, 2021 05:23 AM
Bill Salvatore - YVP Blog
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - Valley of the Sun / golfArizona@cox.net


wonderful Blog, so sad to hear "died in poverty".  happened so much back then.  Lack of support? who knows?  Thanks for the post, make it a productive Sunday.  The week starts new again tomorrow.  Bill Salvatore

May 23, 2021 05:31 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

For someone that did so much and had such brilliance, it is crazy to know that he died in poverty at such a young age.

May 23, 2021 06:17 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning James! Imagine where we might be without those

May 23, 2021 09:52 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


A very smart invention, and I really like that he named it after his daughter, Antoinette. A

May 23, 2021 10:52 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- With all of his remarkable inventions, it is a shame that he died in poverty. 

May 23, 2021 11:27 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Not a bad track record for inventions. Thank you for sharing James Dray 

May 23, 2021 12:55 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

WOW, to think of the number of important inventions he came up with and yet that he died pennyless James Dray .

May 23, 2021 02:04 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Wow I had no idea so when I drove the 1968 Chevy Impala with the V-8 that was his doing??? Endre

May 23, 2021 11:16 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Love the name Antoinette for an engine! All of this was news to me - I had no idea these inventions were this old.

May 24, 2021 09:17 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Impressive innovator. Probably took some time to perfect the designs.

Jun 08, 2021 09:05 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I am sure there is much to discover as to why Léon Levavasseur died in poverty after creating such advanced machines which had great value.

Oct 13, 2021 06:50 AM