Title: All About 19th Century Automobiles

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Summary: The 19th century witnessed invention of a lot of vehicles. Benz Patent-Motorwagen, invented in 1886 AD, by a German Carl Benz is counted to be the birth of the modern automobile. Later on, Walter Hancock, Amédée Bollée, and many others contributed to various kinds of vehicles that kept becoming advanced with the advancement in technology.


A Historic Overview of the Automobiles in the 19th Century


The first ever cars that had internal combustion engine running on fuel gas came into being in 1806 AD.  Benz Patent-Motorwagen, invented in 1886 AD, by a German Carl Benz is counted to be the birth of the modern automobile. An oil-fired steam car was invented by Josef Bozek, a professor at Prague Polytechnic in 1815 AD. Later on in 1838 AD, a four-seated steam phaeton was invented by the builder and operator of London steam buses, Walter Hancock. At the 1867 AD Stanstead Fair in Stanstead, Quebec, Henry Seth Taylor, a Canadian jeweler displayed his steam buggy that ran on four wheels. He started building this vehicle in 1865 AD with the basic idea that it will be a high-wheeled carriage supported by a two-cylinder steam engine.


In 1873 AD, French Amédée Bollée constructed his self-propelled steam road vehicle to move passengers in groups. This invention is considered to be the first real automobile by some people. On May 8, 1879 AD, a patent was filed by American George B. Selden whose idea was that apart from an engine, it will be used in a 4-wheeler car. But it took about 16 long years for him to get the patent for it on November 5, 1895 AD. Karl Benz was granted a German patent in 1886 AD. Nikolaus Otto is the man behind the four-stroke petrol internal combustion engine, which is a precursor of the modern day automotive propulsion.


Thomas Davenport, a blacksmith from Vermont, invented the first American DC electrical motor in 1834 which he fitted in a small model car. Professor Sibrandus Stratingh of Groningen, Netherlands, together with his assistant Christopher Becker made a small electrical car in 1835 AD. An electric locomotive was built in 1838 AD by Scotsman Robert Davidson that could travel at a speed of 4 miles per hour.


Rudolf Diesel invented a similar kind of four-stroke diesel engine. In 1838 AD, Christian Friedrich Schönbein discovered the hydrogen fuel cell, a replacement for gasoline. A patent was given in England in 1840 AD for making use of the rail tracks as a means for conducting electric current. Robert Anderson of Scotland somewhere between 1832 AD and 1839 AD came forward with the first crude electric carriage.


It was Ányos Jedlik and Gaston Planté, who owns the credit of inventing lead-acid battery in 1859 AD that was instrumental in running battery electric cars. Dr. J.W. Carhart, who was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Wisconsin, first introduced a carriage-sized automobile that could be run on the wagon roads in the United States. Andreas Flocken’s ‘Flocken Elektrowagen’ of 1888 AD is considered to be the first real electric car.


The forerunners of automobile manufacturing industry in the outgoing of the 19th century were Carl Benz (1844-1929) and Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900).