The beginning...

History of the car...

Did you know?

One of the first Italians records designs for wind driven vehicles was Guido da Vigevano in 1335

It was a windmill type drive to gears and thus to wheels.

Later Leonardo da Vinci designed a clockwork driven tricycle with tiller steering and a differential mechanism between the rear wheels.

Thomas Newcomen did build his first steam engine in 1712

Newcomen’s engine had a cylinder and a piston and was the first of this kind, and it used steam as a condensing agent to form a vacuum and with an overhead walking beam, pull on a rod to lift water

It was an enormous thing and was strictly stationary. ‘

The steam was not under pressure, just an open boiler piped to the cylinder.

It used the same vacuum principle that Thomas Savery had patented to lift water directly with the vacuum, which would have limited his pump to less than 32 feet of lift.

Newcomen's lift would have only been limited by the length of the rod and the strength of the valve at the bottom.

Somehow Newcomen was not able to separate his invention from that of Savery and had to pay for Savery's rights.

In 1765 James Watt developed the first pressurized steam engine which proved to be much more effici├źnt and compact that the Newcomen engine.

The first vehicle to move under its own power for which there is a record
was designed by Nicholas Joseph Cugnot and constructed by M. Brezin in 1769

A replica of this vehicle is on display at the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers, in Paris.

A second unit was built in 1770 which weighed 8000 pounds and had a top speed on 2 miles per hour and on the cobble stone streets of Paris this was probably as fast as anyone wanted to go it.

Many attempts were being made in England by the 1830's to develop a practical vehicle that didn't need rails.

A series of accidents and propaganda from the established railroads caused a flurry of restrictive legalisation to be passed and the development of the automobile bypassed England.

Several commercial vehicles were built but they were more like trains without tracks.
The development of the internal combustion engine had to wait until a fuel was available to combust internally.

Gunpowder was tried but didn't work out.

Gunpowder carburetors are still hard to find.

The first gas really did use gas. They used coal gas generated by heating coal in a pressure vessel or boiler.

A Frenchman named Etienne Lenoir patented the first practical gas engine in Paris in 1860 and drove a car based on the design from Paris to Joinville in 1862.

His one-half horse power engine had a bore of 5 inchesand a 24 inch stroke. It was big and heavy and turned 100 rpm.

Lenoir had a separate mechanism to compress the gas before combustion.

In 1862, Alphonse Bear de Rochas figured out how to compress the gas in the same cylinder in which it was to burn, which is the way we still do it.

This process of bringing the gas into the cylinder, compressing it, combusting the compressed mixture, then exhausting it is know as the Otto cycle, or four cycle engine.
Lenoir claimed to have run the car on benzine and his drawings show an electric spark ignition.

If so, then his vehicle was the first to run on petroleum based fuel, or petrol, or what we call gas, short for gasoline.

Siegfried Marcus, of Mecklenburg, built a car in 1868 and showed one
at the Vienna Exhibition of 1873.

His later car was called the Strassenwagen

It had about 3/4 horse power at 500 rpm. It ran on crude wooden wheels with iron rims and stopped by pressing wooden blocks against the iron rims, but it had a clutch, a differential and a magneto ignition.

One of the four cars which Marcus built is in the Vienna Technical Museum and can still be driven under its own power.

In 1876, Nokolaus Otto patented the Otto cycle engine, de Rochas had neglected to do so, and this later became the basis for Daimler and Benz breaking the Otto patent by claiming prior art from de Rochas

By 1891 the Daimler Motor Company, owned by Steinway, was producing petrol engines for tramway cars, carriages, quadricycles, fire engines and boats in a plant in Hartford, CT.

Steam cars had been built in America since before the Civil War but the early one were like miniature locomotives.

In 1871, Dr. J. W. Carhart, professor of physics at Wisconsin State University, and the J. I. Case Company built a working steam car.

By 1890 Ransom E. Olds had built his second steam powered car. One was sold to a buyer in India, but the ship it was on was lost at sea.

Running by February, 1893 and ready for road trials by September 1893, the car built by Charles and Frank Duryea, brothers was the first gasoline powered car in America.

The first run on public roads was made on September 21, 1893 in Springfield, MA.

They had purchased a used horse drawn buggy for $70 and installed a 4 HP, single cylinder gasoline engine.

The car (buggy) had a friction transmission, spray carburetor and low tension ignition.

It must not have run very well because Frank didn't drive it again until November 10 when it was reported by the Springfield Morning Union newspaper

This car was put into storage in 1894 and stayed there until 1920 when it was rescued by Inglis M. Uppercu and presented to the United States National Museum.

Henry Ford had an engine running by 1893 but it was 1896 before he built his first car.

By the end of the year Ford had sold his first car, which he called a Quadracycle, for $200 and used the money to build another one.

With the financial backing of the Mayor of Detroit, William C. Maybury and other wealthy Detroiters, Ford formed the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899

A few prototypes were built but no production cars were ever made by this company.

It was dissolved in January 1901. Ford would not offer a car for sale until 1903

2 be Continued… Next, We’ll go to Henry’s Ford model T.

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