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Means of transport. Car

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Means of transport. Car


Means of transport


Walking used to be to most common way to move from one place to an other.

However, postcards often also show the major means of transportations. Some

of them completely disappeared little by little, like the dogs carts, some

others evolved like the bus :




An automobile is a wheeled vehicle that carries its own motor.

Different types of automobiles include cars, buses, trucks, jeeps, and

vans, with cars being the most popular. The term is derived from Greek

‘autos’ ((self) and Latin ‘movére’ (move), referring to the fact that it

‘moves by itself’. Earlier terms for automobile include ‘horseless

carriage’ and ‘motor car’. An automobile has seats for the driver and,

almost without exception, one or more passengers. It is the main source of

transportation across the world.

As of 2005 there are 500 million cars worldwide (0.074 per capita), of

which 220 million are located in the United States (0.75 per capita).

The modern automobile

The modern automobile powered by the Otto gasoline engine was invented iin

Germany by Carl Benz. Even though Carl Benz is credited with the invention

of the modern automobile several other German engineers work on building

the first automobile at the same time. The inventors are: Carl Benz on July

3, 1886 in Mannheim, Gottlieb DDaimler and Wilhelm Maybach in Stuttgart

(also inventors of the first motor bike) and in 1888/89 German-Austrian

inventor Siegfried Marcus in Vienna.


Let’s check out more:

Nicolaus August Otto

Nicolaus August Otto invented the gas motor engine in 1876.

Gottlieb Daimler

In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler invented a gas engine that allowed for a

revolution in car design.

Karl Benz (Carl Benz)

Karl Benz was the German mechanical engineer who designed and in 1885 built

the world’s first practical automobile to be powered by an internal-

combustion engine.

John Lambert

America’s first gasoline-powered automobile was the 1891 Lambert car

invented by John W. Lambert.

Duryea Brothers

They founded America’s first company to manufacture and sell gasoline-

powered vehicles.

Henry Ford

Henry Ford improved the assembly line for automobile manufacturing (Model-

T), invented a transmission mechanism, and popularized the gas-powered


Rudolf Diesel

Rudolf Diesel iinvented the diesel-fueled internal combustion engine.

Charles Franklin Kettering

Charles Franklin Kettering invented the first automobile electrical

ignition system and the first practical engine-driven generator.

Steam powered vehicles

Steam-powered self-propelled cars were devised in the late 18th century.

The first self-propelled car was built by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in 1769—it

could attain speeds of up to 6 km/h. In 1771 he designed another steam-

driven car, which ran so fast that it rammed into a wall, producing the

world’s first car accident.

Combustion engine

In 1807 François Isaac de Rivaz designed the ffirst internal combustion

engine (sometimes abbreviated „ICE“ today). He subsequently used it to

develop the world’s first vehicle to run on such an engine, one that used a

mixture of hydrogen and oxygen to generate energy.

This spawned the birth of a number of designs based on the internal

combustion engine in the early nineteenth century with little or no degree

of commercial success. In 1860 thereafter, Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir built

the first successful two-stroke gas driven engine. In 1862 he again built

an experimental vehicle driven by his gas-engine, which ran at a speed of 3

km/h. These cars became popular and by 1865 could be frequently seen on the


The first American automobiles with gasoline-powered internal combustion

engines were completed in 1877 by George Baldwin Selden of Rochester, New

York, who applied for a patent on the automobile in 1879. Selden received

his patent and later sued the Ford Motor company for infringing his patent.

Henry Ford was notoriously against the American patent system, and Selden’s

case against Ford went all the way to the Supreme Court, who ruled that

Ford had to pay a penalty to Selden, but could continue manufacturing

automobiles, because the technology had changed quite a bit by that time.

Meanwhile, notable advances in steam power evolved in Birmingham, England

by the LLunar Society. It was here that the term horsepower was first used.

It was in Birmingham also that the first British four wheel petrol-driven

automobiles were built in 1895 by Frederick William Lanchester who also

patented the disc brake in the city. Electric vehicles were produced by a

small number of manufacturers.


The first automobile patent in the United States was granted to Oliver

Evans in 1789; in 1804 Evans demonstrated his first successful self-

propelled vehicle, which not only was the first automobile in the USA but

was also the first amphibious vehicle, as his steam-powered vehicle was

able to travel on wheels on land and via a paddle wheel in the water.

On 5 November 1895, George B. Selden was granted a United States patent for

a two-stroke automobile engine (U.S. Patent 549160). This patent did more

to hinder than encourage development of autos in the USA. A major

breakthrough came with the historic drive of Bertha Benz in 1888. Steam,

electric, and gasoline powered autos competed for decades, with gasoline

internal combustion engines achieving dominance in the 1910s.

The large scale, production-line manufacturing of affordable automobiles

was debuted by Oldsmobile in 1902, then greatly expanded by Henry Ford in

the 1910s. Early automobiles were often referred to as ‘horseless

carriages’, and did not stray far from tthe design of their predecessor.

Through the period from 1900 to the mid 1920s, development of automotive

technology was rapid, due in part to the hundreds of small manufacturers

competing to gain the world’s attention. Key developments included electric

ignition and the electric self-starter (both by Charles Kettering, for the

Cadillac Motor Company in 1910-1911), independent suspension, and four-

wheel brakes.

By the 1930s, most of the technology used in automobiles had been invented,

although it was often re-invented again at a later date and credited to

someone else. For example, front-wheel drive was re-introduced by Andre

Citroën with the launch of the Traction Avant in 1934, though it appeared

several years earlier in road cars made by Alvis and Cord, and in racing

cars by Miller (and may have appeared as early as 1897). After 1930, the

number of auto manufacturers declined sharply as the industry consolidated

and matured. Since 1960, the number of manufacturers has remained virtually

constant, and innovation slowed. For the most part, „new“ automotive

technology was a refinement on earlier work, though these refinements were

sometimes so extensive as to render the original work nearly

unrecognizable. The chief exception to this was electronic engine

management, which entered into wide use in the 1960s, when electronic parts

became cheap enough to be mass-produced and rugged enough

to handle the

harsh environment of an automobile. Developed by Bosch, these electronic

systems have enabled automobiles to drastically reduce exhaust emissions

while increasing efficiency and power.

Model changeover and design change

Cars are not merely continually perfected mechanical contrivances; since

the 1920s nearly all have been mass-produced to meet a market, so marketing

plans and manufacture to meet them have often dominated automobile design.

It was Alfred P. Sloan who established the idea of different makes of cars

produced by one firm, so that buyers could „move up“ aas their fortunes

improved. The makes shared parts with one another so that the larger

production volume resulted in lower costs for each price range. For

example, in the 1950s, Chevrolet shared hood, doors, roof, and windows with

Pontiac; the LaSalle ...

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