One can distinguish between about five phases in the history of the ignition. They beginn with the slow running Otto-engine with open-flame-ignition, whereby, at the point of ignition, an area with an open flame is opened to the combustion chamber. It goes on further to Daimlers glow-tube, which is always particularly hot, thus making a sort of random ignition point possible. The first electric ignitions were installed by Otto and Benz, until Bosch decisively took over the destiny of the ignition. Thus, one after the other, both the low- and high tension magneto ignitions were developed.
This type of clearly defined timing structure was not found in the development of the mixture formation. In this case, one attempted to supply the passing air-flow with fuel using either a wick or a small wheel which swirled the air on the surface. Maybach thus, counts as the inventor of the spray-nozzle carburettor, because fuel, as a rule, is in stationary, e.g., gas engines, actually gassified, because relatively large heat exchangers are necessary here.
The coolant was still a big problem, ten times more water than fuel had to be acquired and refilled. For this a radiator was introduced, for a long time it had no circulating pump and was thus larger. Also here, Maybach contributed decisively with his radiator, which was based on the honeycomb principle. Then there was also the highly talented salesman, Consul Jelinek, who together with Maybach, promoted the performance development of the Daimler engines.
The number of cylinders increased, whereby, very early, the boxer- and V-principle also existed. Indeed, the increase in cubic capacity grew much stronger, until one could hardly see over the bonnets of some racing cars. In France, at first, the German patents were adopted, only to be rejected again very quickly to go into, earlier than in Germany, mass-production. In the USA, the development, which in the beginning was partly based on the engines developed in Germany, moved even faster. At this point, the less tempestuous developments in England and Italy should not be forgotten.
By the way, in the hustle and bustle of all these proceedings, the alternative power sources were, by no means a thing of the past. The later famous Ferdinand Porsche also developed electric- or hybrid vehicles around the turn of the century. Despite the heating-up time, the steam engine with it's high torque from the word go and its ability to turn almost anything into fuel, was also holding it's own. Only after the fuel supply became comprehensively available and the operational safety became greater, did the combustion engine leave the competition, which could only be used with a lot more fuss, behind.