Car - History of Car
When you think of a car, what do you see? Do you see a fast race car or a large "monster" truck? Do you picture a bus or a transfer truck? Do you picture a van? There are many types of cars today, and there are many companies that make them. Can you imagine life with cars? It wasn't so very long ago that people traveled in other ways because there was no such thing as a car.
The idea of the car began in the 1700's with Joseph Cognot. He built the first steam-powered automobile that could carry humans. In 18-0, Francois Isaac de Rivaz designed the first combustion engine that was fueled with hydrogen, which worked but was not practical. Hydrogen can cause an explosion.
In 1886, Karl Benz actually developed the first version of the modern car, which was powered by gasoline. The early cars were expensive and were not available to most people.
Henry Ford was able to mass produce the "model T" in the early 20th century by using the assembly line. Today, cars are much more available to the general public. Over the years, cars have been designed to be more convenient, more fuel-efficient, and more luxurious.
While we may think that the idea of an electric car or a hydrogen powered car is new, these were developed, experimented with, and discarded in the early days. The gasoline powered car took off because it had greater range than an electric car and was safer than a hydrogen powered car. These other ideas have come back to light because of the cost of fuel today.