Automobiles Essay

1105 words - 4 pages

Automobiles are an important part of life in today's world. It is a basic need for every household. Imagine walking hundreds of miles for days to get from one place to another, but because of the discovery of automobiles, transportation today is much faster, easier and reliable.Before the automobiles were developed, people lived near the places of their work ("Automobile"; Bib card 1). The history of automobile started with the invention of wheel and has been moving ever since (Gordon, John Steele). The word automobile comes from the Greek word auto, meaning "self" and the French word mobile, meaning "moving" ("Automobile Industry"; Bib card 2). The first Automobiles were called Horseless carriages because they resembled horse-drawn vehicles ("Automobile"; Bib card 1).Automobiles were first produced in Europe ("Automobile Industry"; Bib card 2).The first vehicle that used its own power to move was built by Nicholas Cugnot in Paris in 1796. It was a small, three-wheeled tractor with a steam engine. The development of self-propelled vehicles continued in Britain in the early 1800s. Unfortunately, the British Parliament thought automobiles too dangerous and tried to stop their use. Parliament passed a law making 4 miles an hour (6.4 km/hr) the speed limit for steam cars. A man also had to walk in front of a ``horseless carriage,'' carrying a red flag during the day and a red lantern at night. This law caused so many problems that for 30 years people stopped experimenting with the horseless carriage. Parliament did not repeal this law until 1896. By then people in Germany, France, and the United States were busy building and driving automobiles.In 1885, Karl Benz of Germany built a three-wheeled car with an internal combustion engine. The internal combustion engine gave automobiles the push they needed to become the fastest-growing industry in the world. Today the Mercedes-Benz automobile is famous all over the world ("AUTOMOBILE"; Bib card 3).France was the largest automobile producer until 1904, when it was overtaken by the United States, which has led the world ever since. The brothers Charles and Frank Duryea set up a small factory in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1896. They manufactured and sold 13 automobiles that year, beginning the American automobile industry. At first, automobiles were manufactured for the rich. The Duryea brothers sold their cars for $1,300 each. Cheaper cars came on the market, but it was Henry Ford who took up the automobile and changed the world with it. (Gordon, John Steele; Bib card 4)Henry Ford introduced the Model T Ford on October 1, 1908. (Brinkley, Douglas). In 1900 America produced 4,100 automobiles; in 1908, the year of the Model T's advent, the number had risen to 63,500; in 1909 it had nearly doubled, to 123,900. In 1916 it stood at 1,525,500. Having designed the Model T, Ford put all his energies into finding cheaper and better ways to produce it. Introduced at a price of $850, by the 1920s a new one could...

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