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The Car History Of Steam Powered Cars

By Mick Buick

No one knows the car history of the electric vehicle for sure. Most people speculate that it is between eighteen thirty two and eighteen thirty nine. Robert Anderson a Scottish man was the first to build a crude electric carriage. Sometime around eighteen thirty five a man named Professor Stratingh designed an electric car and later his assistant, Christopher built it.

In sixteen eighty and Dutch man by the name of Christian Huygens designed a gas vehicle engine that was to be fueled by gun powder, but this vehicle was never built. Finally in eighteen o’ seven another man named Francois Isaan de Rivaz invented a internal combustion engine and he used hydrogen and oxygen for fuel to make the car go. Rivaz also designed a car for the engine he built but his design was unsuccessful.

In eighteen ninety nine another person named Camille Jenatzy designed an electric car which was called “La Jamais Contente”, this car set a land speed record of sixty eight miles per hour. A couple years before this in eighteen ninety five Americans finally began to pay attention to the electric vehicles.

So in eighteen sixty two a french man named Alphonse Beau de Rochas patented a forty stroke engine, but this engine was never built. Siegfried Marcus built a one cylinder engine with a crude carburetor and made a five hundred foot drive, this was made in eighteen sixty four.

Following these failed attempts on all these vehicles. In eighteen seventy three, George Brayton (an American man) created a two stroke kerosene engine and it was considered the first practical oil engine but it was also very unsuccessful. So, in eighteen sixty six two men from Germany improved a previous invention by Lenoir’s and De Rochas’ and invented a efficient gas engine, their names were Eugen Langen and Nikolaus August.

In eighteen seventy six Nikolaus Otto finally invented and patented a two-stroke engine and they called this the “Otto cycle.” IN the same year the very first successful two stroke engine was claimed invention by Sir Dougald Clerk. In eighteen eighty three the first single cylinder, four stroke engine was built and ran on stove gas, this was made by Edouard Delamare-Debouteville. Delamare’s designs were very advanced for his time and no one knows if he really built a car.

Gottlieb Deimler finally invented what people call the prototype of a modern gas engine, this was done in eighteen eighty five and finally patented in eighteen eighty seven. Daimler was the first to build a two wheeled vehicle which he called the “Reitwagen” and a year later he built the first four wheel motor vehicle.

Basic electric cars only cost around a thousand dollars but these were for more upper class people. These cars were fancy inside and out and were made by expensive materials. These cars got up to as much as three thousand dollars by the year nineteen ten. Production of these vehicles started peaking in nineteen twelve but did not hit huge success until the nineteen twenties.

Mick is fascinated by old cars. If you want to find out more about the history of cars you can find lots of info on his car history website.

categories: car history,car,history,education

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Buick, Mick "The Car History Of Steam Powered Cars." The Car History Of Steam Powered Cars. 8 Nov. 2009. 24 Dec 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Buick, M (2009, November 8). The Car History Of Steam Powered Cars. Retrieved December 24, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Buick, Mick "The Car History Of Steam Powered Cars"

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