In the beginning, there were beer cans. Regular end-of-day meetings of the BCE crew resulted in too many empty beer cans and too many trips to the dumpster.
To solve the problem, the can smasher was born. An electric motor and a hydraulic ram produced flat cans, but the trash cans still filled with empty, albeit flat, cans.
Over a series of meetings, the BCE crew determined that there had to be a better use for flat cans than just thowing them out. So, a pottery kiln, a cast iron pot, and some piple nipples were pressed into use as a beer can smelter.
After 50 pounds of beer can aluminum ingots built up in the box next to the can smasher, the BCE crew came up with a radical idea: the ingots would be used to make an engine.
The rest, as they say, is history.