Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Ford Didn't Invent The Car | WheelHouse | Donut Media

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(Steam engine noises)

Lots of people tried for hundreds of years

to create self propelled transportation; with each successive attempt building on top of

the previous incarnation. Who invented the first car?... Lets find

out. This is WheelHouse.

Ferdinand Verbiest was Jesuit missionary hanging out in Peking with the Kangxi Emperor. When

He wasnt doing astronomy or working on the calendar, he was tinkering in the garage,

inventing gadgets to entertain the emperor. He was basically the first Car Boy. His coolest

invention, by far, was a two foot long cart with a primitive steam engine on board. I

guess technically that made him a CART boy.

(Office noises, sighs)

Dude, CART BOY, that was a good one!

It was basically a plank with five wheels and a boiler that blew steam on a little turbine

that turned the wheels and made the car move. Ferdinand had technically invented an automobile.

BUT it was pretty small so you couldnt ride it. So it wasnt really a car.

Early steam engines came to prominence in the 1700s, and it was only a matter of time

before someone built a full size machine that followed the principles of Verbeists toy

cart. French inventor Nicolas Cugnot did just that in 1769, with hisFardier a Vapeur’.

And if I mispronounced that, you can sue me because I took Spanish in high school. Shouts

out uhh, wha..what was his name? Mr. Massie, Senor Massie. Atascadero High School, whats

up. Follow your dreams kids.

The gargantuan size came at a cost, the Steam Wagon only had a top speed of 2 and half miles

an hour. The French army, which was funding the project, was kinda disappointed with the

performance. The Fardier was cancelled before it make it to production, but people have

built working recreations of Cugnots design and theyre pretty sweet. The front mounted

steam engine looks weird as hell but theres a visible progression from Ferdinand Verbiests

toy cart to Cugnots machine almost 100 years later. But like the toy cart, the Fardier

was not a car either.

Steam Technology progressed through the 19th century. In 1801, Richard Trevithick unveiled

hisPuffing Devil”, which wasnt his bong, but a steam locomotive for the road.

Trevithick was basically illiterate for his entire life but loved working on machines.

The puffing devil was powered by astrong steamengine similar to those used on river

boats. This updated design made the engine much smaller but more prone to boiler explosions.

The Devils first test run was on Christmas eve when it successfully climbed up a gentle

slope in Cornwall.

A few days later, Trevithick took the Devil out for another drive. But for whatever

reason forgot to put out the fire in the boiler and left the Devil just sitting outside. With

all this heat and steam building up with nowhere left to go, pressure in the tank skyrocketed.

And then...pop. Yknow sometimes you smoke the Puffing Devil, sometimes it smokes you.

All these inventions so far are kind of cars but each one is missing an element that keeps

them from being considered thefirstcar by historians. Ferdinand Verbiests

toy cart thing laid the groundwork for what the car would be but it was just a toy. Nicolas

Cugnot realized the practical application of self propelled travel but was never able

to mass produce it. And the puffing devil kinda made people think twice about steam

engines- because it exploded.

So what would make the car..a car? Well it has to be big enough to hold passengers, practical

enough that it can replace the hose and wagon, and it has to be reliable enough that it wont blow up.

Is there any early invention that can do all three? Yeah, a few.

In 1858 Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir invented the first commercially successful internal

combustion engine. Being an inventor like the rest of these guys, He decided to attach

his engine to a cart. Boom. Car. The Three Wheeled Lenoir Hippomobile, thats what

he called it, made the 11 mile journey from Paris to Joinville le Pont in three hours,

not bad.

But because the Hippomobile was basically just an existing horse cart with an engine

attached , historians dont credit Lenoir with the invention of the automobile. That

honor goes to a guy named Karl Benz.

German Patent Number 37435 was awarded to Karl Benz and his motorized carriage on January

29th, 1886. The Benz Patent Motorwagen was powered by a four stroke motor that Karl had

designed himself. The 943cc motor producedof a horsepower at 230 rpm.

If the Benz kinda looks like a tricycle, thats because Benz was a huge cyclist and even ran

a repair shop before working on the Motorwagen. The tricycle layout made more sense to Benz

over a four wheel carriage because it was less complicated, lighter and easier to steer

Benz worked on his design for years but was hesitant to go into production. Would people

even want the Motorwagen? And How would people know that it was better than a horse? Fortunately

for Karl, his wife would take matters into her own hands.

In the Summer of 1888, Bertha Benz borrowed the Motorwagen when Karl wasnt looking.

She and her two sons planned to make the 50 mile journey from Mannheim to her moms

house in Pforziem before sundown. She left a note on the table and left at dawn. Bertha

had to adjust the carburetor and make other repairs herself, and fueled up at pharmacies

as she went. She and the boys made it to Grandmas house as the sun went down.

The trip was the one of worlds first automotive marketing stunts, and showed people that the

future would be driven by the automobile. Berthas drive was monumental in pushing

both the Benz Motorwagen and the idea of the automobile as we know it onto the world stage.

Without a doubt, the Benz Motorwagen is the firstrealcar; both the engine and

chassis were developed to function as one unit. Daimler, Mercedes-Benzs parent company,

proudly proclaims on their website that they invented the automobile. But the car didnt

appear overnight.

Verbiest, Cugnot, Trevithick, Lenoir and lots of other guys, they didnt create the first

realcar; but their contributions were instrumental in helping Benz make his.

And He wouldnt have succeeded without them.

Nailed it.


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