Karl Benz generally is acknowledged as the inventor of the modern automobile, though many before him had carried out important work leading to the development of the various forms of transport we know today.
Benz was granted a patent for his first engine in 1879. The petroleum-powered internal combustion engine had been designed by him in 1878. His first vehicle was built in 1885, and he was awarded the patent for its invention in1886. Approximately 25 Benz vehicles were sold between 1888 and 1893. Indeed, the inventor’s wife made the first road journey by car in 1888, to prove the viability of her husband's invention. Popularity of this new mode of transport grew rapidly and many other inventors produced vehicles designed for road use. One of the biggest steps in the development of the automobile industry was the introduction in 1902 by Ransom Olds (founder of the U.S. brand Oldsmobile) of the ‘production line’ for the purpose of assembling cars. This method was further developed by another American, Henry Ford, beginning in 1914. Ford's ‘Model T’ cars came off the production line in fifteen minute intervals, a vast improvement on previous methods, increasing productivity eightfold and using less manpower. Ford believed in rewarding his workers well for their efforts, indeed, in 1914, an assembly line worker could buy a Model T with four months' pay. This led to further rapid motor industry development almost worldwide. Nowadays automobiles and their derivations are essential to modern man and the discussion over the question of pollution caused by car exhaust gases has moved manufacturers towards developing other means of propelling their vehicles such as electrical battery power and the use of hydrogen and other gases.Read More