The Automobiles History Essay

747 words - 3 pages

Little did anyone realize in the late 19th century how those strange,noisy contraptions dubbed 'horseless carriages' would revolutionize ourlives. In fact, such a comment would bring laughter to many, because thehorse and buggy was a way of life.But, as we know, what happened to the horse and buggy seemsalmost insignificant when compared to the far-reaching impact theautomobile has had on our country and world.In a word, it changed everything. Where we live. Where we work.Where we shop. Where we eat. The list is virtually endless.As a matter of fact, as we near the break of the twenty first century, itis probably difficult for most people living in the United States today topicture a country with out it's endless interstate's, or places such asrestaurants, banks and shops without 'drive-threw' access.The corner gas station itself has become an American icon, and theendless list of other businesses have sprung up and flourished thanks solelyto the existence of the automobile.In terms of milestones 1996 provides a big one. It marks the 100thanniversary of the assembly and sale of the first true 'production' vehicle,the 1896 Duryea. It's this event that is considered the birth of the Americanauto industry.Even the Duryea brothers could have not imagined that their initial13-car production run in 1896 would create an industry that would producemillions of vehicles by the end of the 20th century.Looking back the Duryeas two-seat vehicle, called the Duryea MotorWagon, featured a two cylinder, in-line, water-cooled gasoline engine thatproduced an earth-shaking six horsepower. The body panels, wheels andthe axle were all made of wood, and the frame from steel angle. The MotorWagon weighed 700 pounds and cost $1,500.00, a big price tag a the time.The idea for a self-propelled vehicle was not all new in 1896. Theconcept predates the Duryeas many years. A man named Oliver Evans isactually credited with building the country's first self-powered vehicle, theOrukter Amphibolos, in 1805.What the Duryeas did however, was introduce the United States to theconcept of vehicle 'mass production.'The Duryeas venture was short-lived, however. After its initialproduction run of 13 vehicles, the company, which was located inSpringfield, Mass., sold only three more vehicles over the next two years.By 1898, the company had dissolved. The brothers then went their separateways and built cars on their own, neither having much impact...

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