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The Automobile Through the Ages: How Cars Have Changed History




Transportation has always been the driving force of change and progress in our world. From the advancements of nautical navigation, the dominance of the locomotive, to the invention of the automobile, transportation has always been a vital aspect of the human existence. We use it for trade, travel, leisure, and even as a form of entertainment. One of the most significant advancements in human history is the invention and the mass production of the motor vehicle.

Human existence was forever altered in the year of 1885 by a German named Karl Benz. In Mannheim, Germany, Benz invented and built his first Motorwagen. Shortly thereafter in the beginning months of 1886, he was awarded the patent for his creation, and in the following July, he began promoting and selling his invention. Over the next several years, consumers in Germany and France would purchase the Motorwagen and begin driving.

Motor experiments were taking place in the United States around the same time, but due to a lack of production, they were little more than theoretical. The first gasoline running American vehicle was the Duryea Motor Wagon in 1893. Another American business, The Studebaker Automobile Company, started production of electric cars in 1902 and gasoline powered cars in 1904.

Up until this time, motor vehicles were that common with the average person. Most people still used animal-powered transportation to get around town and to travel. It wasn't until the advancement of assembly line production that the automobile was made affordable for working class citizens.

Despite popular misconceptions, Henry Ford was not the first automobile manufacturer to bring the assembly line to vehicle production. It was in fact Ransom Olds, who started the mass-production of affordable vehicles in 1902 at his Oldsmobile factory in Lansing, Michigan.

However, Henry Ford revolutionized production lines and was in-effect able to sell the cheapest automobile to date. With his assembly line enhancements, he was able to cut down production times from roughly 12 hours to one and a half. At this time, he was churning out automobiles so rapidly that they had to exclusively use Japan Black paint, because it was the only paint that would dry fast enough. The popularity of Ford's Model T was the true end of the animal-powered transportation, and ushered in a century of mechanical innovation.

Motor vehicles have evolved significantly since Henry Ford's time, and their importance to our daily existence is rivaled only by our needs to eat and sleep. We all require transportation to get to work, to buy food, or to see friends and family. If you reside in a large metropolitan area, you may have access to reliable and convenient public transportation. This isn't a reality for most people in the world. We need a way to get from point A to point B. Walking and biking are methods of transportation that many people have found joy in, but at some point you will still need a vehicle. Cars, whether used or new, are essential, and there are a lot of ways for you to get behind the wheel. If you need a vehicle, visit your local dealerships and find out what model is right for you.

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