Here’s Who Really Invented the First Car (Hint: It Wasn’t Ford)

Author: Jason / Date: August 9, 2022 / Tags: history

Here's Who Really Invented the First Car (Hint: It Wasn't Ford)

( – The history of the car is full of twists and turns. It’s challenging to say one person invented individual motorized vehicles because there were many contributors along the path to creating the first fully functioning automobile. When pressed, most experts would pinpoint Karl Benz as the inventor of the modern car.

Benz was the first person to patent a motorized vehicle in 1886. The Motorwagen was the successor to the horse-drawn carriage, making it essentially the world’s first automobile. He also patented the first vehicle to use a gas-operated motor. Still, before Benz had his success in the industry, other inventors created items he would need to get there. 

The first time anyone created a physical vehicle powered by mechanical means was in 1769. Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot built a machine powered by steam. It wasn’t popular because it needed time to replenish the steam pressure every 20 minutes and only moved at about two miles per hour. Then, Samuel Brown created a gasoline engine, which he installed on a carriage in 1826. It was impractical at the time and never caught on.

Author Tom Standage explains experts consider the first car to be the 1886 Benz Motorwagen because the inventor was able to create an entirely new vehicle from his predecessors. He may have learned from the failures that came before, but he used bicycle parts to design something people found functional and usable.

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