The automobiles running with steam engines first made its presence felt in 1769. It is from this year that it can actually be assumed that the history of automobiles began. These steam engine vehicles were capable of transporting humans.
The Brass Era before World War I
The use of brass in a widespread fashion is the reason behind the name ‘The Brass Era’ which is also called the Edwardian Era. It approximately refers to the period between 1905 to the start of the First World War in 1914. This was the early period of the automobile industry and brass fittings were used for radiators and lights. It was also referred to as horseless carriages, during that period.
The modern touring car as it was also called was invented much earlier, but only after the licensing and adoption of Panhard et Levassor’s vehicle, it was widely accepted. Many standardized and recognizable automobiles were later created, based on this model. This kind of vehicles had the engine in front and used only internal combustion engines. It combined a sliding gear mechanism along with rear wheel drive. Coach style vehicles which were traditionally used were quickly abandoned.
Earlier the cars were small, inexpensive and open ones. Most of them called runabouts had just a single row of seats, to seat only two people. But this was done away with and replaced with less expensive touring coaches. One of them was the Tonneaus, which is actually an open passenger compartment and is round like a barrel. They come with a cover which is a hard or a soft cover to protect the seat when unoccupied. Hard covers open by a hinge or just a folding mechanism and the soft ones open by just rolling up.