The year 1905 was a milestone in Diary of car. From that year on, car ownership was not something that was reserved for the rich, but something for the layer below. The period ended in 1914 when the First World War began. During the war, the car industry switched to the production of military vehicles.
In this article you will know about who invented the car & its journey towards modern cars, you see on the roads nowadays. This article is an autobiography of car. It will also let you know when & how the allied things related to a car, started developing such as Roads, Road Signals, Horns etc.
THE CAR IS BORN
It looked like a broken tricycle but the appliance tested out by the German engineer Karl Benz in the grounds of his Mannheim workshop in the spring of 1885 was destined to change the face of the world. The following summer, the motor car covered about 1 km at a speed of 15 km/hour in a public demonstration. This era-making event was reported in the local newspaper under the heading “ Miscellaneous”
While Benz was busy in Mannheim, Gottlieb Daimler, another German engineer, was assembling his first motor car, a four-wheeled carriage. After many false starts, the time was ripe for the birth of the Car.
Steam Engine had been used to drive road vehicles since the late 1700s, but they were heavy and inefficient. Motor cars needed a new prime mover. It was found in the internal-combustion engine, in which fuel is burned inside the engine rather than in an external furnace, such as in a steam engine.
The first practical version of such an engine, running on coal-gas, was developed in 1860 by Jean-Joseph Etienne Lenoir, a Belgian engineer working in Paris. Lenoir ran a vehicle from Paris to Joinville-le-Pont, a journey of some 9.5 Km which took about 3 hours.
In 1862 the French scientist Alphonse Beau de Rocha s proposed a more efficient system for the internal-combustion engine known as the four-stroke cycle, but his idea came to nothing. More than a decade later the German Engineer Nikolaus August Otto effectively reinvented the engine with his four stroked gas-powered version, manufactured in 1876.
Daimler & Benz used Otto’s four-stroke cycle to make engines that could run on petrol & were about nine times more powerful than Lenoir’s. Although both produced their cars in 1885, Benz was the first to offer his vehicles for sale in 1887.
From its early days in Germany, the motor car was destined to progress fastest in France. In 1895 a car designed by the engineer Rane Panhard & Emule Levassor, with features providing the pattern for the modern car, including a wheel on each corner, the engine at the front & a pedal clutch, won the first motor race. Levassor took just under 49 hours to complete the course from Paris to Bordeaux & back, at an average speed of 24 Km/Hour.
He finished 6 Hours ahead of the second car, a Peugeot which sported the first pneumatic tires to be used on a car. The Peugeot might have won the race had its driver not exhausted his stock of 22 inner tubes for puncture repairs. Barely a decade after its invention the car had proved itself much more than a toy.
A SLOW START
In Britain, the development of the motor car was severely held back by the Highways & Locomotives Act, which was introduced in 1865 to control the heavy steam-powered traction engines of the time.
Mechanical vehicles were restricted to a maximum of 6.5 Km/Hour & had to be preceded by a person carrying a red flag.
The first British road motorist was Henry Hewetson of Catford, who imported a Benz from Germany in November 1894. He hired a young man to cycled ahead of the car & warn him if he spotted a policeman.
Despite the restriction on driving, some people accurately foresaw a profitable future for the motor car. One of them was an entrepreneur Frederick Simms, who bought the patents to Daimler’s engines in 1893. When the ‘ red flag ‘ Act was amended in 1896 to allow ‘ light locomotives ‘ to be driven on the roads, the Daimler Motor Car Company became the first car manufacturer in Britain. It completed its first car in 1897.
Building each of these early cars took three months of skilled craftsmanship by a few dedicated individuals. In 1913 the American car manufacturer Henry Ford installed a conveyor-belt assembly line at his factory, perfecting a technique used since 1901 by a rival company, Oldsmobile. A single car could now be put together in about 90 Minutes.
In contrast, no other cars of the time, which were far beyond the means of the average family, Ford’s Model T, introduced in 1909, was designed as a ‘ car for the multitude ‘ & priced accordingly. This was the car that launched the era of popular motoring & in 1920 it became the first car to sell a million.
Mass production reached Europe after the Second World War. The first British model to sell a million was the Morris Minor, launched in 1949. Drawings of the car by its designer Alec Issigonis were sold at auction for nearly 26000 Pounds in 1996, a tribute to the place of both Issigonis & the Morris Minor in car design innovation.
The early motorists were dedicated enthusiasts, & needed to be since cars were both uncomfortable & unreliable, & journeys were plagued by burst tires, oil & water leaks & other mishaps. As more people acquired cars, they needed to be taught how to use them. The first dedicated driving school was opened in Birkenhead by a William Lea in 1901. Driving tests & licenses became compulsory in Paris in 1893. In Britain, licenses were required after 1903 but were issued annually on request regardless of competence. Driving tests were introduced in 1935.
HIGHWAYS & BYWAYS- How roads were made
History, rulers have needed good roads to control of their empires. To this end, the first great thoroughfares were built in China during the 9th century BC. By the end of the Han dynasty in AD220, approximately 32000 Km of imperial highway existed.
The Romans built roads throughout their empire, including Britain, from the 1st
century AD. After the fall of the empire, these roads were left to decline. Britons went back to using roads that were little more than dirt tracks, water=logged in winter & dusty in summer. Often the roads were so steeply arced that carriages were in constant danger of toppling over. Only a few had a paved causeway or ‘ causey ‘ alongside for pedestrians & pack animals.
At the other extreme were the ‘ hollow ways ‘ which are still found in some parts of England, notably Devon & Cornwall. Streams or rainwater could be diverted onto these concave roads to wash the mud & rubble to the lowest point, from where it could be cleared away easily. Gradually these roads sank lower & lower. “ The stag, the hounds, & the huntsmen have been known to leap over a loaded wagon in a hollow way without any obstruction from the vehicle,’ commented the Irish educationalist & inventor Richard Edgeworth in his Essay on the Construction of Roads & Carriages in 1817.
From the 18th century, the streets of some British towns were often ‘ paved ‘ with naturally rounded cobblestones collected from the beach, some of these streets still survive in Rye, Sussex. Blocks cut from large hunks of hard stone, usually granite were also used. Gaps between the stones were filled with earth. This quickly become so compacted that water could not penetrate, producing a reliable, if bumpy, surface.
Road building was transformed by three men. The first of these was Pierre Tresaguet, a French road engineer. In the 1700s he created a more stable structure by having three layers of successively smaller stones on an arced earth base. Similar methods were applied by the Scottish civil engineer Thomas Telford in the early 19th century. In his roads grit produced by wheels rolling over a top layer of broken stone filled any gaps, making the surface watertight.
Telford’s methods were simplified in the 1820s by his compatriot & fellow engineer John McAdam, who dispensed with foundations. So long as it was water-proof, he asserted, a single layer of graded stone laid on the earth would get by. McAdam told his workmen to select only stones small enough to fit into their mouths. One day he came across a stretch covered with larger stones. When the work-man was warned, so the story goes, he grinned, revealing a huge toothless mouth. After that, the surveyors were given a 5cm ring gauge or a pocket balance & a 170gm weight for checking stone sizes.
But the demands of the motor car called for a more unmoved surface, not least to suppress the clouds of dust created by the suction of the tires. The solution was to seal the surface with tar. Spread hot then compacted with a roller & top-dressed with gravel, ‘ tarmacadam ‘ from the word ‘ tar ‘ & McAdam or ‘ tarmac ‘ makes a smooth surface. A section of the London to Nottingham road was the first to benefit from this material, in 1845.
The first motorway was the 10 Km Avus Autobahn, on the outskirts of Berlin, opened in 1921. Its ringleader was the racing enthusiast Karl Friedrich Fritsch, who provided a loop at each end so that the road could double as a racing track.
RULES OF THE ROAD- Codes, signs, and signals
Regulation of traffic did not begin with the invention of the motor car. As early as 45BC Julius Caesar limited the number of wheeled vehicles allowed entering Rome—exceptions were granted for those
‘ bringing materials necessary for building temples to the gods or public works or those carrying priests or vestal virgins.
The Romans also introduced the custom of keeping to the left, a habit that was reinforced in primitive times when riders through Europe passed oncoming strangers’ sword arm to sword arm. An increase in horse traffic towards the end of the 18th century meant that the convention gained strength but it was not cherished in British legislation until 1835.
Until the Revolution of 1789, French carriages had habitually kept to the left, which forced pedestrians onto the right side of the road. However, when they were faced with oncoming crowds of hostile Republicans, the aristocrats wisely moved over. Maximilian Robespierre, the revolutionary leader ordered all Paris traffic to drive on the right in 1791. The following year the first ‘ Keep Right ‘ law in the USA was applied to the Pennsylvania Highway, after visits by Marie Joseph La Fayette, the French soldier & liberal reformer.
Gas-lit traffic lights, using the colors red for ‘stop ‘ & green for ‘ caution ‘ were placed near Parliament Square London, in 1868. Cleveland, Ohio, had the first electric traffic lights, in 1914. The three-color system of red, amber & green was introduced into New York in 1918, & London in 1926.
Milestones installed by the Romans along major routes were the earliest incarnations of road signs. The proto=type of the modern traffic sign was erected near Lausanne in Switzerland in 1790 to warn of a steep hill. In Britain, the bicycle Union placed the first road signs on dangerous hills, in 1879. Throughout Europe, plenty of signs followed until 1903, when the French pioneered the concept of nationally standardized symbols.
Restrictions on parking were needed in Paris as early as 1893 but reached Britain only in 1930, when they were imposed in London’s Mayfair. Parking meters were the brainchild of Carlton Magee, editor of an Oklahoma City newspaper & chairman of a committee charged with finding ways to control parking. The first meters were installed in 1935. In London, meters appeared in 1958, again in Mayfair.
The first island at the center of a road was built in Liverpool in 1862. In 1864 a Colonel Pierpoint had one sited in London’s St. James’s Street so that he could reach his gentlemen’s club safely. But this did not prevent him from being knocked down by a cab as that very crossing. It is said that the accident happened as he stood in the road admiring his handiwork.
One way traffic systems were used in some of London’s narrow lanes in 1617 to regulate the disorder & rude behavior of Carmen, Dryden & others using Carts.
Speed limits of 6 Km/ Hour in the country & about half that in towns & villages were introduced in Britain in 1865 to control vehicles powered by steam. In 1896, after the motor car had become established was raised to 19 Km/Hour.
A study to evaluate different reflective road studs was set up by the Ministry of Transport in 1937. After two years, the cat’s eye invented by the road repairer Perry Shaw was the only type in perfect condition. It is still in use today.
THE DEVELOPING Ger
many features of the car originated early on & became standard only after being ‘ reinvented ‘ years later. Milestones in the development of the car include :
- 1891 Front Engine, Panhard & Levassor, France.
- 1899 Windscreen, Amedee Bollee, France.
- 1902 Seat Belt, Baker Electric & air conditioning, Franklin, USA. Disc Brakes, Manchester, UK.
- 1904 Automatic transmission, Sturtevant, USA.
- 1905 Pneumatic bumpers, Welbeck, UK
- 1911 Windscreen wipers, Benz, Germany.
- 1912 Electric ignition, Cadillac, USA.
- 1921 Reversing lights, Wills St. Claire, USA
So this is about who invented the car. Hope you like this article. Expecting your comments, questions & suggestions. Do not forget as it will help me to improve my article!
All the images used from GOOGLE & are labeled for reuse
Now you can earn money by writing online in the comfort of your home!