First Car And First Modern Automobile
Most of the automobiles that were invented in the early era were steam powered and were modeled on the basis of a horseless carriage. Although Nicolas Cugnot was credited with the invention of the first self propelled vehicle in 1769, it is Karl Benz who is known as the inventor of the modern automobile.
Another invention of the times was the electric carriage, created by Robert Anderson sometime between 1832 and 1839, that used rechargeable batteries which powered an electric motor. But they were heavy and expensive and had very little speed. Moreover, they required recharging frequently, which was quite bothersome.
The Beginning If Gas Powered Cars
Both these inventions did not remain long in the limelight, and they soon gave way to gas powered vehicles pioneered by inventors like Gottlieb Daimler, Karl Benz etc, and by the 1900s, gasoline cars began to attain popularity. Due to the demand generated for these automobiles, it became mandatory that these cars be manufactured in a large scale.
Panhard,Levassor and Peugeot
Due credit should be accorded to the French Manufacturers, Rene Panhard & Emile Levassor (1889) and Peugeot (1891), for their pioneering attempts in manufacturing assembly line vehicles. They built their first car in 1890 using a Daimler engine and made a lot of improvements to the body structure as well, shifting the engine to the front.They also fitted vehicles with a pedal operated clutch, a chain transmission which led to a gearbox as well as a radiator in the front. This became a predecessor model for all the future cars to be manufactured. The licensing rights of Daimler motors were also shared by Armand Peugot, who was into car manufacturing. In fact, in a car race held in France, witnessed the victory of a Peugot car, which awarded much publicity to that model, thereby increasing its sales.
First Gas Powered Car In United States
America saw its very first gas powered car in 1893, with the manufacture of the Duryea models, created by Charles and Frank Duryea. In a short span of three years, they were able to greatly publicize and sell almost thirteen models of the expensive limousine, in and around Massachusetts. This gas-powered car was seen until the 1920s.
Oldsmobile And Mass Production
But it was Ransom E Olds, who was credited with the mass production of affordable range of automobiles in his factory in 1902. Accordingly, the Curved Dash Oldsmobile became the first automobile mass produced in USA to earn the reputation of America’s leading Automobile manufacturer from 1901 to 1950.
Ford And The Success Of The Assembly Line
Another American car manufacturer who understood the benefits of the assembly line production was Henry Ford, who invented and implemented the conveyor belt technology at his factory in 1914. This revolutionary concept helped to control the production cost by reducing the time of manufacture. It is said that his popular Model T was assembled in just ninety three minutes! This breakthrough resulted in Ford becoming the largest manufacturer of automobiles in the world.
The success of the assembly line production caught on with the automobile industry in general and spread worldwide to bring about future development in this field.