The history of automobiles is packed with fantastic inventions that led to the evolution of the modern car. Even though the first archetype of the modern automobile was credited to Karl Benz, in the year 1885, the very first self propelled vehicle was invented as early as 1769 by Nicolas Cugnot, who used steam engines to power the three wheeled vehicle.
Car History Turning Points
By the mid-19th century, it was found that a steady market for automobiles was growing rapidly and this led to the industrial production of such vehicles. The invention of the internal combustion engine in 1807 by Issac de Rivaz led to the subsequent development of the four stroke engine, which formed a prototype of the engines found in modern automobiles.
Another significant development during this period was the introduction of the petrol engine in 1885, where the engine had to be connected to a gas supply for re-fueling. Due to its safety as well as easy fueling techniques, the petrol engine version obviously came to be preferred, and this led to the beginning of a new chapter in the history of automobiles. The first modern petrol-powered internal combustion engine for cars was developed by Gottlieb Daimler who also built the world’s first four wheeled motor vehicle. He along with his partner, Maybach founded the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft or Daimler Motor Company (DMG) and started production of their own brand of cars. By 1895, more than thirty of their vehicles were on the road.
Daimler-Mercedes And Daimler-Benz
After the death of Daimler in 1900, Maybach came out with the Daimler-Mercedes, which was immensely popular. Meanwhile, when the First World War resulted in a deterioration of economic conditions in Germany, Karl Benz proposed a merger between DMG and Benz & Cie. It took until 1924 for them to sign an Agreement of Mutual Interest, which allowed them to market their automobile models jointly, while retaining their respective brands. 28th June, 1926 saw the historical moment when both the companies merged to form the Daimler-Benz company, which started out with their Mercedes Benz models. Well until his death in 1929, Karl Benz remained a member of the board of directors of Daimler-Benz.
Oldsmobile, Buick And General Motors
Another person who contributed much towards the development of automobiles at this time was an Americn named Ramsom Eli Olds, who set up a factory at Detroit, USA in 1901 to mass produce cars. The Oldsmobile Gas Buggy manufactured there, saw a great deal of popularity among the Americans. The Oldsmobile Company merged with Buick in 1908 which later led to the formation of the General Motors Group.
The assembly line production concept started by Olds was expanded by Henry Ford in 1914, who created a car named as ‘Model T’, or the Tin Lizzie due to its lightweight steel body. It was Ford who introduced the conveyor belt to successfully accelerate the rate of production and was copied by many other industries later. Ford gradually expanded their line of work to other countries like France, Germany, Denmark, Britain, etc. with Citroen being the first European manufacturer to adopt it.