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The History Behind the Automobile

Updated on August 28, 2013

The History of the Automobile

The automobile is one of the greatest inventions, and has its history and origin just like every other thing that was ever invented. The "automobile" is not just one invention, but several.The automobile, also, known as a car, has changed greatly and has extremely improved throughout the years, ever since it first began. The word car, also, refers to the railroad car, before the automobile that is known today, was ever known as car. The word "car" sounded like the Celtic word "karra' to Julius Caesar, and so he gave the name to his chariots. "Carra" is the name for "karra" in Latin. It was in the year 1300 that the word "car" first appeared, and carriage evolved from the word, and then, horseless carriage, and finally back to car again. The word Car is the shortened form for the automobile that is referred today as a car. Many inventors had contributed to the car's invention, and the car has gone through many changes throughout its history to become what it is known today. The car is still being invented today, and improvements are always being made every year, as time goes by.

Cars, Their Ancestors and Horses

The first ancestors of the modern car of today are steam-powered, three-wheeled vehicles that couldn't travel fast. Nicolas Joseph Cugnot built a steam-powered, three-wheeled vehicle in 1771, which only had speeds around 2 to 3 mph. This early vehicle was named: "The Fardier", and it was built for the French Minister of War. The vehicle was never mass produced, and was slower and more difficult to handle than a horse-drawn carriage was.

Horses had been the only reliable method of transportation for many, many centuries, besides donkeys and mules, which were less reliable. Automobile inventors had to compete against the horse industry. The horse industry was big and powerful, and a force to be reckoned with. Horses had been a reliable method of transportation for a long time, and could be relied upon, whereas the auto industry was just getting its start, and would revolutionize the world of transportation. The auto had to compete with a powerful horse industry, so its inventors had to compete against the horse industry, in order, to succeed. Horse power is shortened to "HP", which is the performance capability of a vehicle. HP (Horse Power) is still used today.

An Early Car

Early American Car Advertisement
Early American Car Advertisement | Source

White Motor Company Model M-40 HP

President William Howard Taft's White Motor Company Model M
President William Howard Taft's White Motor Company Model M | Source

The Car and Its Practical Use

An internal combustion engine had to be invented that worked, in order, so that the car and other vehicles could be practical. The internal combustion engine would have to be produced in quantity. Cars would be mass produced and would revolutionize the transportation industry with assembly lines that could produce cars much quicker, cheaper, and make cars more affordable to the average American worker. Cars used to be play things for the rich, until a famous automaker (Henry Ford) decided to build a car that was simple, reliable, and affordable to the average man. Henry Ford is famous for the Model T, Model N, and Model A. Henry Ford didn't invent the auto or assembly line, but his two innovations revolutionized the transportation industry and perfected the assembly line.The first gasoline-powered car was built in 1896 by Henry Ford. Steam-powered engines proved to be dangerous, frequently would blow up, and would cause injuries. The young people liked the freedom and excitement that the invention of the car afforded them; young people had found a new way to have fun.

American Culture, Henry Ford, and the Model T

The Model T and the Assembly Line

Only rich people could afford to buy cars at the start of the 20th Century, until Henry Ford decided to build a car that was simple, reliable, and affordable for the average working man. Plans were under way for the development for a car that would become known as the "Model T', and the assembly line would be perfected. The price for a Model T in 1908 was $825.00, and over 10,000 were sold in the first year. The price dropped down to $575.00 four years later, sales soared, and the cars sold just like hotcakes. The Model A was built in 1903, and the Model N was in production in 1906, but Ford had not yet reached his goal of building a simple and affordable car. He would reach his goal with the Model T and with perfecting the assembly line. Henry Ford had said that you could get the Model T in any color as long as it was black. Henry Ford of Detroit, Michigan is credited with perfecting the modern industrial assembly line, which led to the mass production of automobiles in the United States. The Model T was discontinued in 1927. About 15,000,000 Model T's had rolled off the assembly line, since 1908 to 1927. The Model T and the assembly line revolutionized America and the modern world we know today. The Model T was, also, known as "Tin Lizzie."

Modern Classic Cars

Modern Classic Cars
Modern Classic Cars | Source

Model T-100 Years Later


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