The automobile is, without a doubt, a revolutionary invention that has changed our world. Since the invention of the wheel, people have attempted to create different means of transportation. The first wheeled vehicles were pulled by oxen or horses, and it was not until the late18th century that a self-propelled vehicle was large enough so it could carry cargo and people. Today, it is a common sight to see a car dealership in any major city. Sometimes, these dealerships which sell used cars will provide you with some of the best chances in the world to spot and buy a piece of automobile history, many of these providers having truly unique and rare models for sale.
The automobile history starts with the concept invented by Leonardo Da Vinci in 1400, the carriage without a horse. His mechanism was not pulled by animals, instead it was controlled by a wheel maneuvered by a person inside of it. The device ran on petroleum and was illustrated in Da Vinci’s drawings, but because he focused more the artistic side, some believe that the original idea was developed by someone else. So when you’re reading today’s best car reviews, Da Vinci would just be the guy who came up with the car’s exterior design, no matter how impressive it is. Nevertheless, to think how far we’ve gone since then and how advanced the automobile industry is, it seems weird to think it all began in the atelier of a Renaissance man. So the next time you’re reading the best car reviews available, try to put things into perspective and appreciate what technology has truly done for us.
In 1672, Ferdinand Verbiest built a small steam-powered device as a toy for the Emperor of China. Although it was not large enough to carry a person, the toy is probably the first vehicle powered by steam. The automobile history considers the Fardier as a precursor of the modern car. In 1771, Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot created his fardier à vapeur, or steam dray, a steam-powered artillery tractor. Because the invention was harder to operate and slower than a carriage, it was never put into production.
In 1784, William Murdoch built a functional steam carriage and by 1801 Richard Trevithick’s vehicle was running on Camborne roads. Over the next decades, technologies such as steering, multi-speed transmissions, hand brakes were improved and put into production. The Locomotive Act emitted in 1856 stated that all self-propelled vehicles circulating on UK roads must be accompanied by a man on foot blowing a horn and waving a red flag. This act shut down the auto development for the remaining of the century.
In 1867, Henry Seth Taylor revealed hid steam buggy with a two-cylinder steam engine at a fair in Stanstead. Nikolaus Otto is considered created the first four-stroke petrol internal combustion engine in the automobile history. Rudolf Diesel developed a similar four-stroke diesel engine. Automobiles powered by steam continued to be developed until the 20th century, but because of the preference for petrol engines in the late 19th century, they soon became a rarity.
The 1901 Curved Dash Oldsmobile was the first to be produced in larger quantities in the United States. Henry Ford was the first to start modern automobile mass production. The Ford factory manufactured the Model T in 1908. Over 18 million models were sold until 1927, when it was discontinued. Many 21st century engineers are reconsidering the possibility of steam engines once again, because of the global need for energy independence and sustainability.