Cars have been a part of our lives for several years. In fact, the first automobiles can be dated back to the late 18th Century. These early vehicles were powered by steam engines, were noisy, dirty and were only slightly related to the vehicles we know and love today. In the two centuries that have passed, the auto has seen dramatic changes in the way it looks and functions.
The first major development was the use of gasoline powered engines in automobiles. In the early 1800’s internal combustion engines started to be introduced, which was the first major change. Instead of being powered by a big steam engine, a smaller more efficient engine that was fueled by gasoline became the norm. This was a big factor in the growth of the auto.
However, as the 1900’s began automobiles were still novelties to most people. The cost of production of autos became expensive so that the vast majority of the people were not able to afford it. This changed with the Model T Ford of Henry Ford. Ford had the idea that to go more autos into the public’s hands he needed to come up with a way to make more autos, more efficiently. And he did with the introduction of the auto assembly line. With the use of the assembly line, cars were produced quicker and were sold at a much lower cost. This made the auto affordable to most people.
The assembly line became the boost that the industry needed, along with the end of the two World Wars and the Great Depression. Starting in the 1950’s, the auto industry enjoyed a boom with the introduction of a number of big, classic cars that we still love. Auto manufacturers introduced large cars such as the Cadillac, Lincoln and many others. Soon after sporty cars such as the Mustang, Corvette and Firebird gave the auto industry a new and exciting look.
However, as the economy and environment becoming bigger concerns, as well as safety issues, started to become important factors in the auto industry. Car manufacturers began including safety features such as seat belts, air bags, anti lock breaks and many others to keep the car driving public safe. Also, the sizes of the cars started to get smaller and lighter to help make the cars more fuel efficient.
While the auto industry has undergone radical changes over time, the car has been one of the most beloved possessions of the public. We love our cars! To help understand the developments in the car and car industry, we have put together a number of pages for your reference. Enjoy and see you on the roadway!
Gas Powered Engines
Auto Safety History
Auto Law History
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