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Sunday, February 22, 2009

The History of Automobile

The men behind the over 100.000 patents that influenced the modern mobile....

1. Nicolaus Otto

One of the most important landmarks in engine design comes from Nicolaus Otto who in 1876 invented an effective gas motor engine. Nicolaus Otto built the first practical four-stroke internal combustion engine called the "Otto Cycle Engine," and when he completed his engine, he built it into a motorcycle.

Nicolaus Otto was born on June 14, 18
32 in Holzhausen, Germany. Otto's first occupation was as a traveling salesman selling tea, coffee, and sugar. He soon developed an interest in the new technologies of the day and began experimenting with building four-stroke engines (inspired by Lenoir's two-stroke gas-driven internal combustion engine). After meeting Eugen Langen, a technician and owner of a sugar factory, Otto quit his job, and in 1864, the duo started the world's first engine manufacturing company N.A. Otto & Cie (now DEUTZ AG, Köln). In 1867, the pair were awarded a Gold Medal at the Paris World Exhibition for their atmospheric gas engine built a year earlier. In May 1876, Nicolaus Otto built the first practical four-stroke piston cycle internal combustion engine. He continued to develop his four-stroke engine after 1876 and he considered his work finished after his invention of the first magneto ignition system for low voltage ignition in 1884.

Otto's patent was overturned in 1886 in favor of the patent granted to Alphonse Beau de Roaches for his four-stroke engine. However, Otto built a working engine while Roaches' design stayed on paper. On October 23, 1877, another patent for a gas-motor engine was issued to Nicolaus Otto, and Francis and William Crossley. Nicolaus Otto died at age 59, on January 26, 1891, in Cologne. Nicolaus Otto invented the gas motor engine. An engineer and experimenter, Nicolaus Otto invented the first practical alternative to the steam engine in 1876 -- the first four-stroke internal combustion engine. He called it the "Otto Cycle Engine," and as soon as he had completed his engine, he built it into a motorcycle.

2. Gottlieb Daimler

In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler (together with his design partner Wilhelm Maybach) took Nicolaus Otto's internal combustion engine a step further and patented what is generally recognized as the prototype of the modern gas engine. Daimler's connection to Otto was a direct one; Daimler worked as technical director of Deutz Gasmotorenfabrik, which Nikolaus Otto co-owned in 1872.

There is some controversy as to who built the first motorcycle Otto or Daimler. The 1885 Daimler - Maybach engine was small, lightweight, fast, used a gasoline-injected carburetor, and had a vertical cylinder. The size, speed, and efficiency of the engine allowed for a revolution in car design. On March 8, 1886, Daimler took a stagecoach (made by Wilhelm Wimpff & Sohn) and adapted it to hold his engine, thereby designing the world's first four-wheeled automobile. gottlieb diamler 4 WheelerIn 1889, Daimler invented a V-slanted two cylinder, four-stroke engine with mushroom-shaped valves. Just like Otto's 1876 engine, Daimler's new engine set the basis for all car engines going forward. Also in 1889, Daimler and Maybach built their first automobile from the ground up, they did not adapt another purpose vehicle as had always been done previously.

The new Daimler automobile had a four-speed transmission and obtained speeds of 10 mph. Daimler founded the Daimler Motoren-Gesellschaft in 1890 to manufacture his designs. Eleven years later, Wilhelm Maybach designed the Mercedes. A few years later left Maybach left Daimler to set up his own factory for making engines for Zeppelin airships. In 1894, the first automobile race in the world was won by a car with a Daimler engine.

3. Karl Friedrich Benz

In 1885, German mechanical engineer, Karl Benz designed and built the world's first practical automobile to be powered by an internal-combustion engine. On January 29, 1886, Benz received the first patent (DRP No. 37435) for a gas-fueled car. It was a three-wheeler; Benz built his first four-wheeled car in 1891.

Benz & Company, the company started by the inventor, became the world's largest manufacturer of automobiles by 1900.
Karl Friedrich
Benz was born in 1844 in Baden Muehlburg, Germany (now part of Karlsruhe). He was the son of an engine driver. Benz attended the Karlsruhe grammar school and later the Karlsruhe Polytechnic University. In 1871, He founded his first company with partner August Ritter, the "Iron Foundry and Machine Shop" a supplier of building materials. Benz began his work on a two-stroke engine, in hopes of finding a new income. He received his first patent in 1879.

In 1883, he founded Benz & Company to produce industrial engines in Mannheim, Germany. He then began designing a "motor carriage", with a four-stroke engine (based on Nicolaus Otto's patent). Benz designed his engine (958cc, 0.75hp) and the body for the three-wheel vehicle with an electric ignition, differential gears, and water-cooling. The car was first driven in Mannheim in 1885. On January 29, 1886, he was granted a patent for his gas-fueled automo
bile (DRP 37435) and in July, he began selling his automobile to the public.

4. John Lambert

America's first gasoline-powered automobile was a three-wheel motor buggy - the 1891 Lambert car invented by John Lambert.

Later, after se
eing the 1895 Times-Herald race, John Lambert went on to produce four-wheel vehicles at his Buckeye Manufacturing plant. John Lambert was a very successful and prosperous businessman in Ohio City, who successfully tested and drove a three-wheeled, surrey-topped, gasoline-powered runabout of his own design.

5. The Duryea Brothers

America's first gasoline powered commercial car manufacturers were two brothers, Charles Duryea (1861-1938) and Frank Duryea. The brothers were bicycle makers who became interested in gasoline engines and automobiles. On September 20 1893, their first automobile was constructed and successfully tested on the public streets of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Charles Duryea founded the Duryea Motor Wagon Company in 1896, the first company to manufacture and sell gasoline powered vehicles. By 1896, the company had sold thirteen cars of the model Duryea, an expensive limousine, which remained in production into the 1920s. America's First Automobile Race At 8:55 a.m. on November 28, 1895, six motor cars left Chicago's Jackson Park for a 54 mile race to Evanston, Illinois and back through the snow. Number 5, piloted by inventor J. Frank Duryea, won the race in just over 10 hours at an average speed of about 7.3 miles per hour. The winner earned $2,000, the enthusiast who named the horseless vehicles "motorcycles" won $500, and the Chicago Times-Herald, sponsor of the race, declared, "Persons who are inclined to decry the development of the horseless carriage will be forced to recognize it as an admitted mechanical achievement, highly adapted to some of the most urgent needs of our civilization."

America's First Recorded Automobile Accident
In March 1896, Charles and Frank Duryea of Springfield, Mass., offer the
first commercial automobile: the Duryea motor wagon. Two months later, New York City motorist Henry Wells hits a bicyclist with his new Duryea. The rider suffers a broken leg, Wells spends a night in jail and the nation's first traffic accident is recorded."

6. Henry Ford

Automobile manufacturer Henry Ford was born July 30, 1863, on his family's farm in Dearborn, Michigan. From the time he was a young boy, Ford enjoyed tinkering with machines. Farm work and a job in a Detroit machine shop afforded him ample opportunities to experiment. He later worked as a part-time employee for the Westinghouse Engine Company. By 1896, Ford had constructed his first horseless carriage which he sold in order to finance work on an improved model. Ford incorporated the Ford Motor Company in 1903, proclaiming, "I will build a car for the great multitude."

In October 1908, he did so, offering the Model T for $950. In the Model T's nineteen years of production, its price dipped as low as $280. Nearly 15,500,000 were sold in the United States alone. The Model T heralds the beginning of the Motor Age; the car evolved from luxury item for the well-to-do to essential transportation for the ordinary man.

Ford revolutionized manufacturing. By 1914, his Highland Park, Michigan plant, using innovative production techniques, could turn out a complete chassis every 93 minutes. This was a stunning improvement over the earlier production time of 728 minutes. Using a constantly-moving assembly line, subdivision of labor, and careful coordination of operations, Ford realized huge gains in productivity.
In 1914, Ford began paying his employees five dollars a day, nearly doubling the wages offered by other manufacturers. He cut the workday from nine to eight hours in order to co
nvert the factory to a three-shift workday.

Ford's mass-production techniques would eventually allow for the manufacture of a Model T every 24 seconds. His innovations made him an international celebrity. Ford's affordable Model T irrevocably altered American society. As more Americans owned cars, urbanization patterns changed. The United States saw the growth of suburbia, the creation of a national highway system, and a population entranced with the possibility of going anywhere anytime. Ford witnessed many of these changes during his lifetime, all the while personally longing for the agrarian lifestyle of his youth. In the years prior to his death on April 7, 1947, Ford sponsored the restoration of an idyllic rural town called Greenfield Village. On January 12, 1900, the Detroit Automobile Company released its first commercial automobile - a delivery wagon - designed by Henry Ford. This was Ford's second car design - his first design was the quadricycle built in 1896. On May 27, 1927, production ended for the Ford Model T - 15,007,033 units had been manufactured. On January 13, 1942, Henry Ford patented a plastic-bodied automobile - a car 30 percent lighter than metal cars.

In 1932, Henry Ford introduced his last engineering triumph: his "en block", or one piece, V-8 engine. The T in Model T Henry Ford and his engineers used the first 19 letters of the alphabet to name their automobiles, although some of the cars were never sold to public.

7. Rudolf Diesel

Rudolf Diesel was born in Paris in 1858. His parents were Bavarian immigrants. Rudolf Diesel was educated at Munich Polytechnic. After graduation he was employed as a refrigerator engineer. However, he true love lay in engine design. Rudolf Diesel designed many heat engines, including a solar-powered air engine.

In 1893, he published a paper describing an engine with combustion within a cylinder, the internal combustion engine. In 1894, he filed for a patent for his new invention, dubbed the diesel engine. Rudolf Diesel was almost killed by his engine when it exploded. However, his engine was the first that proved that fuel could be ignited without a spark. He operated his first successful engine in 1897.
In 1898, Rudolf Diesel was granted patent #608,845 for an "internal combustion engine" the Diesel engine.

The diesel engines of today are refined and improved versions of Rudolf Diesel's original concept. They are often used in submarines, ships, locomotives, and large trucks and in electric generating plants. Though best known for his invention of the pressure-ignited heat engine that bears his name, Rudolf Diesel was also a well-respected thermal engineer and a social theorist. Rudolf Diesel's inventions have three points in common: They relate to heat transference by natural physical processes or laws; they involve markedly creative mechanical design; and they were initially motivated by the inventor's concept of sociological needs. Rudolf Diesel originally conceived the diesel engine to enable independent craftsmen and artisans to compete with large industry. At Augsburg, on August 10, 1893, Rudolf Diesel's prime model, a single 10-foot iron cylinder with a flywheel at its base, ran on its own power for the first time.

Rudolf Diesel spent two more years making improvements and in 1896 demonstrated another model with the theoretical efficiency of 75 percent, in contrast to the ten percent efficiency of the steam engine. By 1898, Rudolf Diesel was a millionaire. His engines were used to power pipelines, electric and water plants, automobiles and trucks, and marine craft, and soon after were used in mines, oil fields, factories, and transoceanic shipping.

8. Charles Kettering

"The world hates change, but it is the only thing that has brought progress." - Charles Kettering

The first electrical ignition system or electric starter motor for cars was invented by GM engineers Clyde Coleman and Charles Kettering. The self starting ignition was first installed in a Cadillac on February 17, 1911. The invention of the electric starter motor by Charles Kettering eliminated the need for hand cranking. United States Patent #1,150,523, was issued to Charles Kettering of Dayton, Ohio in 1915.

Charles Kettering became the founder of Delco (Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company). He also went on to invent: other automotive lighting and ignition systems, lacquer finishes for cars, antilock fuels, leaded gasoline, and an electric cash register.
Freon In 1928, Thomas Midgley, Jr. and Charles Kettering invented a "Miracle Compound" called Freon. Freon is now infamous for greatly adding to the depletion of the earth's ozone shield.


  1. Without them .. maybe we don't know automotive at the moment. in 1800 they already had made great things..
    now we live in year 2000.. what already we do??
    ..thx for sharing :)