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A Short History Of Today’s Automobile

By Blake Jacobs

Ever since the beginning of time humanity has always been consistent in its venture to discover new places and discover new horizons. It probably started with the invention of the wheel. Cars are the product of man’s creative imagination as a result from his intention of making life light and hassle-free for all humanity. Definitely the toys for the big boys, the car or automobile’s purpose was not limited to it being a way of transportation but was also elevated to a collector’s status symbol. Although this hints on man’s voracious character, it also serves as a signal post for his imagination and ingenuity.

The predecessor of today’s automobiles was powered by steam, acquiring its cue from the locomotives. Seventeen sixty nine was the year when Nicolas Joseph Cugnot invented the first steam powered, self-propelled vehicle which acted as a military tractor. Its primary purpose was to transport military artillery for the French army. Driving a remarkable top speed of approximately 2 mph, the vehicle was thought of as the height of military strength. Sad to say, this glory was short-lived simply because it was haunted by a number of disadvantages because of its size, weight and the tedious routine maintenance needed to keep the vehicle running-it has to stop every 15 minutes basically to build up steam.

The initial smoke of steam-powered cars eventually dissipated and it was shortly replaced by creation of electric-powered cars. The first electric carriage was devised by Robert Anderson of Scotland between the years 1832 and 1839. This introduced the way for more analyses in prolonging the battery storage useful to support the vehicles. Electric powered vehicles have their own advantages and drawbacks. As a benefit, they are quiet, they have minimal vibration, they are easy to start mainly because it does not take manual effort, and they do not need adjusting of gears unlike its rival which are the gasoline vehicles. But, they are costly. The early growth of electric vehicles was flamboyant simply because its market was the upper class that is into fancy interiors that need expensive materials. The value of one car alone could increase for as much as US $3,000! And that was in the 19th century. Even if you fast forward to circa 2000s, this is a huge amount that could cover for your vehicle check up to the Las Vegas Auto Repair shop and even one poker game at the casino!

Good thing that Henry Ford came into the picture and he championed the strategy of mass producing internal combustion motors that made automobiles reasonably priced to the general public with a price of no more than US $500 to US $1,000. Caused by the huge price difference concerning the two competitor’s car, the electricity driven vehicle’s aggressive launch was put to a temporary halt. During a short period of time internal combustion engines started to be a signature when the word vehicles or automobiles are being spoken of.

Back in the present day in which global warming and sky rocketing prices of petrol are serious bywords, cost effectiveness and preserving the natural environment became the important determining concerns in car production. Fuel efficiency and eco friendly turned the baseline of the invention of the auto industry. This designed a line of car models that feature improved car mileage and close to nil carbon emission. Hybrid vehicles became the center stage of the twenty first century line of cars. Their attractiveness comes from the technology of seamlessly integrating gasoline and electricity to power cars. In the United States alone, the Toyota Prius has been highly regarded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the most fuel efficient car. It also aced the smog and toxic emission test to be reported as the cleanest automobile out in the market today.

Together with its dynamic development and the outrageous speed of innovation, you never know what the forthcoming future may have for these steeds of steel? Creative thinking then would be the single limiting factor in the daily journey to design the perfect vehicle. Who knows, maybe at some point, it can make espresso, too.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Jacobs, Blake "A Short History Of Today’s Automobile." A Short History Of Today’s Automobile. 24 Jun. 2010. 27 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Jacobs, B (2010, June 24). A Short History Of Today’s Automobile. Retrieved August 27, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Jacobs, Blake "A Short History Of Today’s Automobile"

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