Many people believe that Henry Ford invented the first automobile, but that is not exactly true. He was not the first to play around with the idea of a horseless carriage. Nicolas Joseph Cugnot designed a vehicle that used steam to move. It was not a very good vehicle because it had to stop and build up power and it was difficult to control. In fact, it had the first motor vehicle accident when it ran into a garden wall!
Many inventors continued to try and build a vehicle that was powered by steam or electricity. The automobiles with electric motors could only go about 50 miles because they ran out of power. Finally, two inventors were able to build an engine that ran on gasoline. August Otto and Gottlieb Daimler built the first gasoline engine. Karl Benz and Daimler experimented with the gasoline engine by putting it on different types of carriages and stagecoaches. The stagecoach with the gasoline engine was the first four wheeled motor car.
Only rich people could afford to buy the first cars. Building cars was slow, hard work because each automobile was made by hand. There were only a few cars built, so they were expensive. Ransom E. Olds was the first to build more than one car at a time. His workers wheeled carts of parts to each car frame. More cars were built at a faster pace. This helped a little in making cars easier to buy, but Henry Ford wanted cars to be affordable for everyone. He perfected the assembly line technique which lowered the price of the automobile. He used a moving assembly line. The car frame was placed on a moving track. Workers stood beside the track and added parts as the car passed. The price of cars went down beause it did not take as long to make them and more cars could be made at one time. This meant that more people could buy automobiles.
WOW. That was interesting. I always thought Henry Ford invented the automobile. The truth is that there were many moving machines before Henry Ford made his first car. Now, find out how these complicated machines work! Next>>