This blog post is brought to you by Carnections Auto Transport and is designed to further educate you on the history of cars and their evolution over time.
In order to begin discussing the history of cars and how they have influenced the modern world and the vehicles you see on the road in your town today, we must first begin by acknowledging the pioneers that paved the way. Without companies like Mercedes, Ford and General Motors we may all still be riding around in horses and buggies.
Evolution of Cars
What was the first motor car?
Daimler’s First Automobile
The vehicle that is given credit for being the first motorcar was a Mercedes built in 1901 by Wilhelm Maybach for Daimler Motoren Gessellschaft, later referred to as simply Daimler. The 1901 Mercedes produced for Daimler was quite the engineering feat, especially for 1901 where most civilians were still considered wealthy if they owned horses. While it did not possess the standard gas and brake pedals that we think of as modern today, it did have some luxurious features and even boasted thirty-five horsepower!
Early American Automotives
As Americans overseas started to gain a taste for cars and horsepower, pioneering engineers Ransom E. Olds and Henry Ford along with other first movers began to build factories and test their luck in the automotive industry. While mass producing cars and trucks was not yet conceivable, by 1904 companies like Daimler are estimated to have employed over seventeen-hundred employees to produce only one-thousand cars per year. Between 1901 and 1906 Ransom E Olds’ company that later turned into Oldsmobile produced a vehicle with three horsepower that was meant to be accessible for middle-class Americans with a retail price of just $650. Some say that there is no greater representation for the gap in quality control between American factories and their German counterparts than the 1901 Oldsmobile and the first Mercedes produced in 1901.
1901 Mercedes 35 PS
The First Assembly Lines
In 1908 the Americans had just about caught up, Henry Ford was founding Ford Motor Company and William Durant was developing ideas for a company that would become General Motors. Henry Ford introduced the first assembly line and began churning out Model T’s like nobody had ever seen before, eventually producing 485,000 of the world’s 606,124 motor vehicles produced in total in 1913. In England, Herbert Austin had developed the first 4-wheel car by 1900 and was preparing for production as the manager of The Wolseley Sheep Shearing Machine Company. In 1901 with some backing by a few well-known supporters he founded Wolseley Motors in Birmingham which became the largest car manufacturer in England until Ford came along in 1913.
The Model T
Cars and the General Public
When the motorcar was originally introduced to the public in the early 1900’s it was unlike anything most people had ever seen before. While the industrial era was in full swing, most American’s hadn’t seen engineering integrated into middle-class culture. By 1910 there were a lot of countries producing 4-wheel cars that had internal combustion engines of some kind, most of whom had taken their ques from French and German components sourced from companies like Daimler. It is true that some countries got off to a slower start than others, but it’s safe to say that once the public were exposed to motor vehicles there was no turning back!
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