I find myself in awe of all the bells and whistles that can be added to a vehicle today; built in vacuum, seat warmers, built in cooler, DVD player, built proof glass and so much more. Where did it all get started though? Cars were not always available, who do we have to thank for this amazing luxury? It is a matter of opinion as to who built the first car, most are willing to agree with the following timeline.
In 1769 a French military engineer built a steam-powered tricycle to haul artillery. Cugnot’s fardier a vapeur, as it was known, could travel at 2.25 miles per hour, holding four passengers. It could go for about fifteen minutes before needing to rest. On the day it was shown publicly it lost control and ran into a wall. While this tricycle was without a doubt an amazing invention it wasn’t great for everyday use, it had a tendency to tip forward when it wasn’t carrying heavy artillery.
Karl Friedrich Benz and Gottlieb Daimler
On the same day, January 29, 1886, in two different German cities, two men filed patents for automobiles. Benz had a three wheeled vehicle which he first drove in 1885. It was the first to combine an internal combustion engine with an integrated chassis. Daimler had a motorized carriage, which was the world’s first four wheeled automobile that featured a high speech gasoline engine
While many assume Ford the inventor of the car, myself included, he was not. He did however change automobiles for the world. Early morning on June 6, 1896 Ford completed his first car, unfortunately the car was wider than his shed doors. After knocking away bricks to widen the shed opening his car was successfully road tested. In 1908 the Model T was debuted and made more and more affordable over the next five years as Ford worked to prefect the assembly line.
It has taken many men, hours and ideas but each and every year the car makes more and more progress.