Cars are a very pivotal aspect of our daily lives, they have managed to carve a niche in the world today. They make your trips fun and your run-arounds worth it. Cars are almost everywhere!
But that begs the question: How did cars come to be? How did it all start?
This is every information you need to “Get-on-track” with “CARS”
How It All Started
The word “Car” is coined from a Latin word “Carrus” or “Carrum“, it means “two wheeled cart”. Cars are also known as “Automobiles” which mean “self-propelling“.
Many attempts had been made many centuries past to make self propelled vehicles. Some notable mentions are:
1. Ferdinand Verbart who made the first working steam powered vehicle.
2. Gustavo Trouve, who made the first working three-wheeled car powered by electricity.
All these were poor attempts to make a self propelled cart and didn’t prove to be dependable until…
In the late nineteenth century, precisely year 1879, a German engineer named “Karl Benz” designed an engine.
It was a four stroke internal combustion engine.This was the “Holy Grail” of the automotive industry, it was what the car industry had been waiting for and needed all along.
The engine proved dependable and didn’t need electricity or steam to work. It did well with cheap gasoline and ethanol. The engine was patented by Benz in 1885.
Now, Benz had an engine and all he needed was to build a body (a cart) for it, and that he did! He built the first car in the year 1885 and called it the Motorwagen.
The First Long Distance Road Trip
Karl Benz’s wife, Bertha Benz, played a very important role both in improving her husband’s business and also in the automobile world.
Bertha, and two of her sons, took the Motorwagen (without the knowledge of her husband), and embarked on a journey of about one hundred and six kilometres (106km).
During the trip, she had issues with bringing the vehicle to a stop when going downhill. After a number of near accidents, she asked a shoemaker to nail some leather to the wood brakes she had; this singular action was the invention of brake-lining.
She made the trip to prove the dependability of the Motorwagen for long distance travel. As a result of this, cars came to be “trusted” and considered a safe option for locomotion.
By the year 1890, Benz produced and sold about five hundred and seventy two (572) cars. This made it the largest company in the world at that time.
Benz also designed and patented many important car inventions that serve as the basis for almost every car. Some of them are: the radiator, the carburetor, the clutch, the gear shift, the spark plug, the ignition system, and many others.
We can say that Karl Benz is one of the best things to happen to the automotive industry, as he laid the foundations of almost all car systems that are still in use today.
Benz is the father of today’s Mercedes Benz.
Mass production of cars started simultaneously in different parts of the world. Most of the different manufacturers were using Benz’s principles and design, but trying to improve on them.
For instance, Armand Peugeot started producing cars under the name – “Peugeot” in France. His engines were produced in Germany by Daimler. Some iconic Peugeot cars are; the Peugeot 504, and Peugeot 505, although these were many years later.
Ransom Olds was also producing cars in America, under the name-“Oldsmobile”. Oldsmobile was the first company to use the assembly line for motor vehicle production.
An assembly line is one here different parts of the car, that have been fabricated to specifications are passed on a conveyor belt through different sections of the factory for assembling until the car is completed.
Sir Henry Ford was a phenomenal American engineer. He designed a car and was daring enough to put it in a race against other cars which already had built names for themselves. Surprisingly enough he won.
Due to this, he was able to get investors to invest in his car project and started The Ford Motor Company, in 1901. He started mass production with the vehicle called the “Ford Model T”.
Ford used the assembly line method of production and greatly improved it, in a matter of one hour and thirty three minutes, a Ford car was completed.
This method made him use less manpower and also enabled him to pay his workers well. Therefore, within a short period of time, he was the biggest car manufacturing company in the world.
Today, we have a lot of car manufacturing companies. Some of them include Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Land Rover, Subaru, Kia, Tesla, Renault, Mazda and so many others.
These different companies all make use of the different inventions put forth by Benz amd the different production strategies used by Ford. They have, however, made countless improvements on them to make cars safer, more efficient, faster, more comfortable and so on.
Today, cars are what they are, because of the different little things that so many people have over the years done. So drive your car today with that knowledge that it didn’t just come to be, it was carefully formed over time... And. it still is a work in progress.
Let us know how this has helped you. You can also suggest what topic you want us to discuss next in the comments section.