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Automobile History

Updated on March 31, 2011

History of Automobile

The history of the automobile as the transport medium and said working began in the nineteenth century. It is however based on models designed in advance; to this date the invention of the car can not be determined with absolute accuracy and objectivity, "One day you will be able to build cars capable of moving and keep their movement without being pushed or pulled by any animal ''

Even during the historical period of the Renaissance had been conceived and designed models of cars that can travel alone. On the other hand, these projects will live only on paper. Working prototypes of the famous chariot Cugnot (gadgets with a steam engine) were built only to the late eighteenth century.

Created to replace animal traction, the car engine was used from time to time depending on the different feeding systems. Only after the First World War, the introduction of the internal combustion engine and gasoline is imposed on a multitude of systems. However proposals were always in different historical periods, forms of power alternatives to gasoline.

The steam engine and the wagon Cugnot

Designed in 1769 was driven by a steam engine with two vertical cylinders of 325 mm. bore and 387 mm. travel, for a total displacement of about 62,000 cm ³. This "monster" capable of carrying a load of over 4 tons, dubbed "machine-operated fire proceeded slowly only a dozen minutes, reaching a top speed estimated at less than 10 km / h, while this short show marked the beginning of the history of the engine: it is the first practical demonstration provided by a vehicle in the world "auto-mobile" in the literal sense, that is to say that moves by itself with a force not animal, not stored by spring and did not use the effects of wind

The main problem was not so much in the wagon to move Cugnot, but in the slow turning and stopping it, in fact the first prototype was destroyed against a wall.

However after a second car was built in July of 1771 he got the desired result (currently, the chariot of Cugnot is preserved at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris and a replica can be admired at the Museo Carlo Car of Biscaretti Ruffo di Torino).

The wagon was a prototype Cugnot essential, but characterized by several features in common with other inventions such as the locomotive and the motorized tricycle. Therefore differs from the car because it was too modern for the time being, a viable alternative to animal traction. Subsequent advances led to a turning point only after a hundred years, thanks largely to the models introduced by entrepreneurs like Carl Benz.

The Nineteenth Century: gas, gasoline and diesel

Even in the nineteenth century were built cars with steam traction. In addition, engineers and inventors continued to work on four-wheel drive muscle or sailing. Despite competition from advanced systems did not wait any longer:

In 1802, the Swiss Isaac de Rivaz to develop the first car with an internal combustion engine.

The 1839 was the year of the first electric car, introduced by Robert Anderson in Aberdeen.

In 1860 the Belgian Etienne Lenoir was then able to develop a gas-powered model that was applied to some tricycles called Hippomobile

In 1864 the Italian Innocent Manzetti introduced the first modern steam car able to move along the roads .

The research that led to develop new models pushed in many different directions, driven by developments in the history of industrialization, especially English. So it was that the cities of London and Bath found themselves already in 1828 with a bus connection, operating with steam.

A moment of great importance was certainly the 1876 thanks to Nikolaus August Otto, inventor of the first internal combustion engine four-stroke. However, the car had not yet fully profiled and distinct from other forms of transport and locomotion and transportation as the locomotive and the bicycle. Think about the fact that two famous French models, and the Obéissante Mancelle were presented at the Universal Exhibition of 1887 in the section on rail.

The main impediment to the practical application of the internal combustion engine in vehicles was the fact that, unlike the steam engine could not start from zero. After years of experimentation, only appeared in 1899 of real frictions that can run a vehicle at rest without having to manually push.

Thanks to some crucial innovations and the establishment of major companies, however, was toward the end of the nineteenth century that became the vehicle for the first time a phenomenon well-known and capable of competing with the coach. From the aesthetic point of view the car developed for the first time ever more features distinguishable from those of other means of transport, even though they often remained visible in the project, the structure sits on a carriage of an engine:

In 1883 were founded the first automobile factories: in Puteaux in France, De Dion, Bouton et Trépardoux and Germany in Mannheim, the Benz & Cie. was founded by German Carl Benz, who had just left the motor factory Gasmotorenfabrik AG founded in 1882. The De Dion, Bouton et Trépardoux built in 1884 one of the first motor car. It was used as a fuel and steam coal, wood and paper. It was called La Marquise, and the maximum speed was about 61 km / h. Together with the previous Mancelle, Amédée Bollée of 1878, is considered the oldest production car in the world.

Enrico Bernardi realized in 1884 in Verona, a prototype vehicle with gasoline engine, with three wheels, powered by a small motor. The prototype was presented at the International Exhibition of Turin in 1884 and is currently kept at the ACI in Verona

In 1886 Carl Benz, who eight years earlier had been the pioneer of the first internal combustion engine two-stroke, built the first internal combustion engine vehicle. In the same year Gottlieb Daimler built a compatriot model independent from those of Benz. His car reached a speed of 16 km / h. Later, in 1889, the four-stroke engine of Daimler was installed on a four-seater by René Panhard and Emile Levassor.

In 1890 Gottlieb Daimler founded the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft

In 1892 Rudolf Diesel patented a new model (which improved the efficiency of the Otto cycle), which was a prelude to the construction of the first diesel engine.

In 1894 Enrico Bernardi realized his vehicle with petrol engine and to produce it in the same year was founded Miari & Giusti, the first Italian manufacturer of automobiles.

The competition between different systems was increasing and ended up being played out before the public: he was born so that the first car races, among which was certainly the famous Paris-Rouen. Although there appears to good prospects for the gasoline engine, this system seemed slow to establish itself on others. The first land speed record officially registered in 1898, is attributable to its electric car: the French-Gaston de Chasseloup Laubat chilomenti was up to 63.14 per hour, while in 1901, Camille Jenatzy exceeded the beauty of one hundred kilometers / h with La Jamais Contente, even in this case an electric car. With its strong sharp line, this car was looking for a solution to its aerodynamics, even if premature.


The twentieth century: the definitive statement of the petrol model


The tendency of the current models is not contrary to the diversification of the fuel. The need for an alternative to petrol was noted, for example during the oil crisis in 1973. The system then went on to establish itself alongside diesel to petrol, while in later times even the electric car and returned the alcohol to be developed.


In the social climate, environmental and economic impact of today, seem to acquire an increasingly important role of the concepts of sustainable mobility and renewable energy. For example, Brazil is a country that, by virtue of its resources widely used bioethanol for motor vehicles with the Flex. In fact, in this country the refining of sugar cane is one of the most important sources of energy. On the other hand, the use of food to produce fuel has been criticized for contributing to deforestation and rising food prices.


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    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Wonderful hub. GBY