History of Cars/Automobile Since 1672

Some sources suggest Ferdinand Verbiest, a member of a Jesuit mission in China, may have built the first steam-powered car around 1672. Franois Isaac de Rivaz, a Swiss inventor, designed the first internal combustion engine which was fuelled by a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, and used it to develop the world’s first vehicle to run on such an engine. The design was not very successful. An automobile powered by an Otto gasoline engine was built in Germany by Karl Benz in 1885 and granted a patent in the following year. Although several other engineers were working on the problem at about the same time, Benz is generally credited with the invention of the modern automobile. Approximately 25 of Benz’s vehicles were built before 1893 when his first four-wheeler was introduced. They were powered with four-stroke engines of his own design.

The first American car with a gasoline internal combustion engine was designed in 1877 by George Selden of Rochester, New York, who applied for a patent on an automobile in 1879. Santler from Fvlalvern is recognized by the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain as having made the first petrol-powered car in the country in 1894 followed by Frederick William Lanchester in 1895 but these were both one-offs. The first production vehicles came from the Daimler Motor Company, founded by Harry J. Lawson in 1896, and making their first cars in 1897.

In 1892, Rudolf Diesel got a patent for a “New Rational Combustion Engine”. In 1897 he built the first Diesel Engine. In 1895, Selden was granted a United States patent for a two-stroke automobile engine. Steam, electric, and gasoline powered autos competed for decades, with gasoline internal combustion engines achieving dominance.

(Source: The Vintage Cars MuseumCoorg, Siddapura, Karnataka)

Click to learn more about History of Cars/Automobile.

Leave a Comment

eighty + = 83