This is the real History of the automobile that explains how we got to today’s cars. It was a ‘rich man’s whim,’ and its invention took many years. Steam was used before gasoline, and electric vehicles are not new at all.
We are currently experiencing a new automobile ‘revolution’ with electrification. The car industry is constantly changing, but to understand the sector and its evolution, it is essential to go back to the History of the car. To its origins, to the inventor of the car, and the beginning periods of the car.
In many places, we can read about the first car and, of course, about the car’s inventor. But History somewhat confusing because they have not transcended the details to the extent that one wants to know. For this reason, below, we will give details about cars and their History.
Historical Milestones of Automobile Evolution
- The origins of the automobile, background of the first car
- The arrival of oil at the origins of the automotive industry
- The modern concept of the automobile
- Evolution of the automobile: the expansion of the automotive industry
- The evolution in the automobile industry in the 20th century
- The amazing technological advances of the last decades
- How long did the first car in History run?
- And what about the electric car – Who invented it?
- Was there always a steering wheel?
- Wiper, a brilliant idea that shook the world of automobiles
- When did the electric horn appear in cars?
- What classic car took in more than half of the market?
- When was the first radio introduced in a vehicle?
- The first vehicle with seat belt
- When did the airbag appear in cars?
- The most expensive car in History
The origins of the automobile, background of the first car
In 1885, Karl Friedrich Benz operated for the first time in History a three-wheeled car with a single-cylinder two-stroke engine that reached a total of 250 revolutions per minute. In this way, the world’s first practical automobile was born. Karl Friedrich Benz and Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler, both born in Germany, were the true pioneers in car manufacturing throughout Europe.
Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler had been working with stationary gas engines for a long time since 1872. Ten years later, he created, with the great help of Wilhelm Maybach, a high-speed internal combustion engine with a carburettor that would use gasoline as fuel for transportation. From one place to another.
Three years later, Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach produced an engine that reached an incredible 900 revolutions per minute. Then they built a second engine and mounted it on a bicycle that they ran on November 10, 1885.
Later, Daimler and Benz merged in 1926. Since then, they have produced cars under the Mercedes-Benz brand. The really funny thing about this matter is that these two men never got to know each other personally.
The arrival of oil at the origins of the automotive industry
Due to the high temperatures that the boilers of steam cars reached, a replacement was sought. And it was in 1815 when the first was introduced, with oil as a substitute and created by Josef Bozek. Later, in 1860, Etienne Lenoir developed the first car with an internal combustion engine based on coal gas, an electric ignition system, and a mixture of air and fuel.
The modern concept of the automobile
Karl Benz originally intended to produce automobiles, while Daimler only focused on selling engines, with the purpose of financing later developments. The Benz car was superior on the whole, quickly establishing it as a producer, allowing it to successfully sell its three-wheeler, giving rise to the automobile industry. On the other hand, the Daimler model of the artefact was not so successful, although it had an efficient engine that revolutionized the nascent automotive industry.
In parallel, French engineers and inventors were building steam-powered vehicles of optimum quality and efficient performance. The most important milestone for the consolidation and evolution of the automobile occurred in 1889, when two French engineers, René Panhard and Émile Levassor, discovered the Daimler engine at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. Both applied for the right to use their design, and a year later, they obtained it. Later, erroneously, they considered that the car did not have a promising future and transferred the rights to the Daimler engines to the Peugeot firm, which built five vehicles in 1891 and about thirty in 1892, which made it the first manufacturer in World Series, subsequently followed by Benz.
Evolution of the automobile: the expansion of the automotive industry
In earlier times, British law stalled the advancement of the automotive industry, but from 1901 they rectified by preventing the British Motor Syndicate from seizing exclusive rights to manufacture Daimler engines. At the same time, Benz was becoming Europe’s leading automaker, making 2,500 units in 1900.
In 1890, the American Henry Ford decided to embark on the automobile business. His first obstacle was the patent obtained by Baldwin Selden in 1895, which seized the rights to apply the internal combustion engine to vehicles. In 1899, the American brand Olds launched 400 cars on the market in 6 months, becoming the first manufacturer in the United States.
At the end of the 19th century, the Electric Vehicle Company acquired the patent for internal combustion engines and granted the license to other national manufacturers, but Ford objected to this and entered a legal dispute in 1903. Years later, in 1911, Henry Ford won the court case. Until then, about 60,000 cars had been sold in the United States, but most were powered by steam or electricity.
The evolution in the automobile industry in the 20th century
France, which experienced a remarkable boost in the automobile industry, could not even be beaten by the British, who grew up to 200% during the year 1913. Germany, for its part, ranked third in terms of production. The economy of the United States was in a period of growth, a situation that allowed the dynamic progress of the industry. The mass production methods used were very efficient, surpassing Europe in volume.
The technological revolution of the automobile was becoming more and more palpable. At this time, automobiles were more valued by the population thanks to innovations in terms of comfort and aesthetics. After World War I, automobile firms followed a more efficient and cheaper production line. Both William Morris, in the United Kingdom, and Henry Ford, in the United States, produced successful models. Surprised by the result, other manufacturers began to produce cars with the same method, that is, mass production. From the 1940s onwards, production was characterized by the development of more efficient and safer engines, as well as being less polluting. For decades to the present, technological innovations have followed one another constantly,
The amazing technological advances of the last decades
Except for some technical aspects, the automobiles of the beginning of the century were not very different from those that circulated in the 60s. It was at the beginning of the 70s when the motor industry received a great boost thanks to the application of technology advanced. The idea was to create faster and safer vehicles. As the number of vehicles travelling on the roads increased, traffic accidents began to become a serious problem, so car firms began to manufacture safer vehicles. First, automatic seat belts came into being and, later, airbags. Already in the 90s, due to technological development, vehicles began to incorporate important innovations in active safety, such as ABS and ESP.
Ergonomics studies have also served to make the interior of the vehicles much more comfortable, in addition to producing cars with more rational use of space. Nor should we forget that, in the late 70s, air conditioning was included in most vehicles. This was the first step towards the amazing thermal comfort that today’s cars have achieved. In addition, in recent years, the concern not to harm the environment has made the automotive industry bet on the manufacture of electric cars and new prototypes that work on hydrogen.
Likewise, electronics are playing an increasingly important role in automobiles. Currently, there are already models that stop or slow down in the event of a danger of collision, that have the ability to park alone or that incorporate lighting systems based on infrared lights, among many other surprising advances.
How long did the first car in History run?
The first automobile in History did not run on the fuels we use today. The method of self-propulsion was steam, and the idea came to the military engineer Nicolas Cugnot. This first car dating from 1770, which only had three wheels, could equal 11 km / h.
Some people consider that the first car in history was one that was self-propelled with a combustion engine for the first time. That is none other than Karl Benz. This Mercedes-Benz was the beginning of the millions of vehicles that, years later, would crowd the world market.
What was the speed this car could reach? The qualitative leap was higher than that of steam vehicles, and Karl Benz reached a top speed of 40 km / h. Can you imagine today’s world with cars that don’t exceed this speed? It would be chaos!
One of the historical curiosities is that Karl Benz was the first car powered by fuel.
And what about the electric car – Who invented it?
And now we are with the electric car as the ‘great invention of the 21st century’, but it is not entirely true. You have to go back to the 19th century when the first electric car launched. It was created in 1832 by Robert Anderson, who created the first vehicle equipped with an electric motor in charge of turning the wheels’ axle.
A primitive electric car, of course, that was also powered by non-rechargeable batteries. But electric vehicles existed long before Elon Musk arrived, and policies against polluting emissions started. After that invention, in 1892, William Morrison had his own, and there were some others.
The electric car arrived much earlier than we think, but its autonomy was already a big problem for its viability then.
Was there always a steering wheel?
The question seems absurd, but all those who answer yes to this question are very wrong. The first cars that replaced horses as a means of transportation did not have a steering wheel as we know it today.
The human being has always controlled the steering of the car, although, in the beginning, no circular steering wheels were driving. The shape of them was varied: from handlebars. Similar to those used in motorcycles to cranks with a curved shape and with a wooden grip at the end.
The first person to employ a circular-shaped steering wheel or rudder was Alfred Vacheron in 1894 during a race in Paris. Although it demonstrated that driving comfort and effectiveness was much more significant, it would not be until a decade later, well into the 20th century, when the steering wheel was combined with that rounded shape in most models. Of course, the size of the first models was enormous compared to the current ones.
Wiper, a brilliant idea that shook the world of automobiles
Most of the time, only great inventions are credited to men in the world of motorsports. However, women have also played a significant role in this field. Today, cars would not be the same if certain women had not intervened in their History.
One of them is Mary Anderson, inventor of the first windshield wiper in 1903. This brilliant idea came to her on a visit to New York City. The driver of a tram on which she was riding had to continually get off it to clean the dirt and water that fell from the rain. Thanks to the American imagination, rain, and snow are no longer driving problems.
When did the electric horn appear in cars?
Believe it or not, there was not always an electric horn in every car. One of the historical curiosities that we bring you is that the first vehicles used a more traditional system to warn other drivers. We are talking about the horn, that device made up of a rubber bulb and a metal trumpet. After being used for hunting and music, vehicles began to integrate it at the end of the 19th century.
At the beginning of the 20th century, there were attempts to introduce more features into steering wheels. With this intention, Robert Bosch patented in Germany in 1914 the electric car horn that would go on the market for the first time seven years later, in 1921. How many tantrums have this invention paid for since that year!
What classic car took in more than half of the market?
If they tell us that there is a car model that occupies 55% of the market, the probability that they are teasing us is quite extensive. The current world competition is the main reason why the fact that we have commented to you cannot happen.
However, in its day, there was a classic car that took advantage of the limited competition of the moment to take over this large percentage of the market. We are talking about the Ford T that, eight years after being marketed, reached this record that no vehicle has ever surpassed. In 1916, the car of the American brand itself managed that 55% of the cars that were in the world were Model T of the.
The Ford T was a real bestseller: 15 million vehicles were built. This model also supports the achievement of being the first car produced in a chain in 1908. What do you like about historical curiosities? The Ford T took in more than half the market in its day.
Did you know: What are the Valves in Car Engines, How do they Work?
When was the first radio introduced in a vehicle?
How essential it seems to us to have a radio in the car, right? Well, this means of transport had to wait several decades to introduce this successful feature.
The Ford Model T, the most popular vehicle of its time (as we have seen in the previous point), was the first vehicle in History to be equipped with a car radio. The credit went to inventor George Frost, who developed a radio receiver model that could be operated with only two buttons. On the other hand, the first radio receiver device in the car would not be commercialized until the year 1930, when the Manufacturing Corporation launched the Motorola 5T71.
The first vehicle with seat belt
This security system has not always been mandatory, and, of course, it has not still been integrated into cars. We cannot imagine a vehicle without this protective strip that has saved so many lives since its creation.
However, the seat belt was not inserted into a vehicle until the mid-1950s. In 1956, some Ford models added, as an option, this indispensable safety system today. Despite this, the invention of the seat belt is more closely related to the Volvo brand.
In 1959, this company introduced the first series-mounted and the first three-point seatbelt – similar to the one used today – in its Volvo Amazon car. At that same moment, the Swedish brand acquired the patent for this invention, which, later in 1962, it released so that other brands could integrate it into their models. We are talking about one of the essential historical curiosities of all time!
If you have children then you may already know how important seat belts. And today’s cars have this edge over the old age cars.
When did the airbag appear in cars?
If there is a perfect complement to the seat belt, that is none other than the airbag. It is an invention from the aerospace industry. The prototype was conceptualized to be inserted into aeroplanes around the 1950s. Yet decades later, cars were crying out for new safety systems. Various vehicles came onto the market with this extra; however, the first to be sold in series with this feature was the 1973 Oldsmobile Toronado. From that moment on, the airbag became an indispensable component.
We often question the name of things, and these questions do not have a coherent and well-founded answer. This is not the case of the cars’ dashboard, since its name comes from a part of the carriage that the horses moved before the vehicles appeared.
When horses were the reference means of transport, carriages incorporated an L-shaped wooden board under their feet, the primary function of which was to avoid splashing water and mud. This dashboard was maintained and lengthened to the height of the driver’s trunk with the appearance of the first classic cars -. The History of the panel, as you can see, is one of the most particular historical curiosities that we have shown you.
Almost in the 90s, this Mercedes-Benz engineer had an idea: to use the ABS sensors to measure the speed of each wheel so that he could select the brakes and avoid accidents. He gave it one more spin when he got down to business and devised an algorithm that calculated how much each wheel had to brake to keep the car off balance. Thus was born the stability control that, later, would increase the ABS sensors, would add elements such as the gyroscope to detect possible skidding … until Mercedes, with Bosch, shaped an ESP to add it to the production models.
Also Read: How to drive a car?
The most expensive car in History
Auctions have become real centres of attention for the acquisition of vehicles of all kinds. The classics have not been left behind in this regard and lead the most succulent bids ever paid in this type of event.
The Ferrari 250 GTO is, officially, the most expensive car in the world when we consider its dollar value. In 2014, a buyer got it for $ 38.11 million. It is a model manufactured between 1962 and 1964 that, in the second-hand market of the 70s, did not exceed $ 7,000.
However, if we consider the value in dollars of this car, we realize that it is not the most expensive in history. The dollar’s fragility during the time in which this car was purchased at auction causes its value to be 28.5 million. There is a car of the Italian team that was auctioned for a higher cost with the European currency as a reference.
The 1957 Ferrari 335 Spider Scaglietti is the most expensive car globally in terms of millions of Dollars. It was auctioned for 35.7 million dollars when the purchase took place. The American currency was more revalued than in the previous case.
So when the car was first invented, it was not like the current age car. With the passage of time, this vehicle faces many changes and in the current era, it comes in its advanced form.