The history of the automobile involved many dedicated inventors. The first real automobile, a self-powered steam vehicle, was built by Amedee Bollee in 1873. In the next step toward the automobile, Nikolaus Otto invented a four-stroke petrol gasoline internal combustion engine, the most common method of automotive propulsion. The four-stroke diesel engine was invented by Rudolf Diesel. Then, Etienne Lenoir patented the first practical gas engine in Paris.
The first carriage-sized automobile in the United States was a steam-powered vehicle invented in 1871 by Dr. J.W. Carhart. By 1891 the Daimler Motor Company, owned by Steinway (the piano family), produced petrol engines for tramway cars, carriages, quadricycles, fire engines and boats in a plant in Hartford, CT. In 1893 Charles and Frank Duryea, built the first gasoline powered car in America. Two years later, they opened America’s first motor manufacturing company.
It was not until Henry Ford (see pic above) founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903, however, that large scale production became possible. In 1908 he introduced the Model T,which became so popular that he developed the car industry’s first moving production line in order to build enough cars to satisfy demand. His ‘Universal Car’ changed the face of motoring with over 16.5 million built before production ended in 1927, making it available to a far larger number of people. Tomorrow, we go nuclear. Rita Bay