History of the Car

History of the Car

People lives changed more during twentieth
century than in any previous period in history. With so many inventions
came in this period, there are few of them that have influenced and changed
world more than automobile. Since most people alive today have grown
up in the automotive age, the impact of the automobile on the society is
easily overlooked.

Out of experiments in many places and with
many elements of design, the essential features of the automobile emerged
around the turn of the century. In the last quarter of the nineteenth
century, and especially in the 1890\'s, much work was carried in France,

Germany, Great Britain, Austria, and United States to develop practical
designs of both vehicle and motor. In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler, who
had previously worked with Dr Nikolaus August Otto, applied a single cylinder
and air-cooled vertical machine to a carriage. A few years later

Daimler created his first "four wheeled wooden built light wagonnete" powered
by petrol. Karl Benz of Manheim (Germany) then built an engine specifically
intended for motor cars, leading to the four-wheelers (Thomas 321).

As petrol cars became more dependable the advantage of not having to wait
until steam was generated gave them clear superiority over the steamers,
and the self-starter took away the principal advantage from electric propulsion.

At the beginning of the century, petrol driven internal-combustion motor
car had established itself as the dominant mechanical road vehicle and
started its expansion with great rapidity (Ware 291).

In 1894, the French newspaper La Petit

Journal introduced a new invention to the wider public by organizing a
trial run of motor cars from Paris to Rouen. In 1895 the race was
organized from Paris to Bordeaux. The winner averaged fifteen miles
an hour. In the first decade of 1900\'s, French led the world in the
production of cars, and automobiles even took part in French army maneuvers.

In England, they were allowed to travel on roads at fourteen miles an hour.

Around the same time in the United States, Henry Ford was making twin-cylinder
water-cooled engine cars, which traveled at 25 miles an hour. (Zeldin II

640). Car ownership early in the century was limited to the rich and privileged.

The revolution in the whole character of the car, as well as its method
of manufacture, was made by the introduction of mass production.

In 1908, Henry Ford, a farmer\'s boy from Michigan with little education,
conceived the idea of a car designed for the masses. After careful
examination of the Sears Roebuck factory, he began mass production of his
model T car. The benefit of this mass-production was a low-priced
and affordable car. It was the beginning of mass production and mass
acceptance of automobiles. The consequence was that, in 1913, there
were already over a million automobiles on the United States roads as opposed
to 200,000 in Great Britain, 90,000 in France, and a mere 70,000 in Germany
(Zeldin 649). Cars, which were not mentioned in the census of the

United States\' business in 1900, soon will be at the top of the list.

The rapid development of cars required
a great range of facilities. Around the turn of the century and for
nearly two decades into the 1900\'s, most roads continued to be made of
sand, clay, or dirt. So, when it rained, they became quagmires.

The roads surfaced with gravel or sand which had served for the traffic
of the horse-drawn vehicles, were soon find to be entirely inadequate for
motor transport. The car whipped up a cloud of dust, loosened and
wore the surface, and broke down the roadbed with its weight. In

1903, The Grand Prix automobile race from Paris to Madrid was called off
in the mid-course after many of the drivers, blinded by dust, crashed to
death. It wasn\'t until the end of the first decade of this century,
when modern road-building techniques began to evolve rapidly, that roads
began to be paved with concrete. Constructors started to use asphalt,
which provided a solid surface (Ware 294). By than, however, there
were thousands automobiles worldwide. So, driving a car in the early
part of the century was more adventure than pleasure. Getting stuck
in mud midway through trip, hitting a rut and breaking an axle or sliding
into a ditch were all-too-common occurrences for early motorists.

Car travel depended upon the availability
of the fuel. In the beginning the fuel resources were located in
the few places such as: United States, northern South America, Romania,
and southern Russia. Retail petrol-supply points were needed along
the roads. Car travels, also, brought need for overnight