Who Invented the Car?

Who Invented the Car?

There is no straightforward and definite answer to who invented the car. In fact, the history of this modern day invention is quite rich with various inventors and innovators in between who made great strides in its development. The idea of developing or inventing a car dates way back during the renaissance era. Even then the thought of a horseless carriage wasn’t even thought possible by many.

Early Origin of the Idea

Though we can not say who invented the car we can give credit to the many inventors who put their ideas forward and contributed to the development of this modern invention. The idea of creating a car or automobile dates back to the 15th century. Leonardo da Vinci, other than painting the Mona Lisa, made many designs that were way too early for his day. One of the pioneer ideas of this renaissance icon is the design of a transport vehicle.

The Idea Takes Form

From this single design comes many types and further designs of our modern day automobile. There are countless types and styles to be found as the years rolled by and innovators came into the scene. Some of the types of cars you’ll find during the different stages of development include those that run on electricity, steam, or gasoline. Giving a definite answer to who invented the car will largely depend on the opinion of the person giving such a credit.

Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot

In the year 1769 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot came in and made a self propelled vehicle for the French army. The vehicle ran on steam and was three-wheeled with a velocity of 2.5 mph.

Robert Anderson

In the years from 1832 to 1839 we find Robert Anderson of Scotland as having developed his own self propelled carriage. This invention of Anderson’s was powered by electricity.

Karl Friedrich Benz

In the years 1885-1886 Karl Friedrich Benz patented the very first true automobile. Thus many point out to him as the one who invented the car. Benz’s car ran on gasoline using internal combustion. The original design was three wheeled and was patented in Germany.

Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler/Wilhelm Maybach

They introduced the first four wheeled car in 1886 in Germany. It had a four stroke engine which was called the Cannstatt-Daimler.

George Baldwin Selden

Selden patented a car in the United States in the 1895 that ran on gasoline. It was a combination of an internal combustion engine and a carriage. Selden’s invention was never manufactured but only collected royalties.

Frank and Charles Edgar Duryea

They introduced the very first successfully gas powered car in 1893. This is a strong argument to give them the credit as to who invented the car. It had a four horsepower two stroke engine. In time the brothers set up the very first car manufacturing company in the United States.

We can never really tell who invented the car with so many making various strides. What we have instead are many inventors and innovators who gave many firsts in the development of this modern day vehicle.

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3 Responses to “Who Invented the Car?”

  1. Melinda Andrews says:

    This was a very helpful and a useful website!!!Thanks!!!

  2. Mark Gade says:

    OK, but since you left your article in the 1890s, we can’t forget Henry Ford.

    On June 4 1896, while working for Edison, 32-year old Henry Ford built his ‘QUADRICYCLE’, an experimental vehicle in a brick shed behind his home at 58 Bagley, Detroit. The quadricycle was a 2-cylinder, 4 hp, 2-speed job (no reverse) mounted on a light wagon frame geared to bicycle wheels, with a 49-inch wheel base and a 500 lb curb weight.

    Ford went for a predawn (4 am) test drive at 20 mph and broke down ironically in front of the Cadillac Hotel in Detroit. After putting about 1000 miles on it, Ford sold his vehicle for $200 that year to Charles Ainsley. Ford would build two more quadricycles: one in 1899, another in 1901, and eventually bought back the original for $65.

  3. athul says:

    On June 4 1896, while working for Edison, 32-year old Henry Ford built his ‘QUADRICYCLE’, an experimental vehicle in a brick shed behind his home at 58 Bagley, Detroit. The quadricycle was a 2-cylinder, 4 hp, 2-speed job (no reverse) mounted on a light wagon frame geared to bicycle wheels, with a 49-inch wheel base and a 500 lb curb weight.
    Ford went for a predawn (4 am) test drive at 20 mph and broke down ironically in front of the Cadillac Hotel in Detroit. After putting about 1000 miles on it, Ford sold his vehicle for $200 that year to Charles Ainsley. Ford would build two more quadricycles: one in 1899, another in 1901, and eventually bought back the original for $65.