EVOLUTION OF AUTOMOTIVE TRANSPORTATION In my research paper I am going to tell you how the first automobile and the evolution of the automobile helped the United States be able to expand as rapidly as it did with the help of the automobile and its many uses. With the invention of the automobile came a new sense of freedom. The automobile has been a force that has helped to set the course for the future. In the year 1903 a man named Henry Ford invented the first gas powered combustion engine. With this new engine he was able to construct a personal conveyance which was to be named the automobile. With his invention of the automobile traveling became faster and more efficient then a horse and carriage.
His first cars sold for about 900 dollars. This meant that pretty much only the wealthy could afford the luxury of having the first horseless carriage. The first engine was a 20 horsepower straight four cylinder that had a top speed of 25 mph. The first cars were primarily made out of wood, which was hand carved by a skilled carpenter. The first cars had the bear necessities to be driven. It had a windshield, front seats and back seats that held four people, the engine, the gas tank that was positioned under the back seat, a radiator, and lights for night driving.
The first car had a 3 speed manual transmission that was operated by leavers and a clutch. The transmission was used to transfer the power of the engine into a gearbox that caused the car to move. The gearbox is what controlled how much of the engines power was used to start the car in motion and how fast the engine must run to maintain a constant speed. The clutch was used to allow the gears to be shifted without any damage being done to the gears or gearbox.
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The gears controlled the speed the car traveled at and how much power the engine used to get up to speed. The gears played an important part in the cars motion. Without the gearbox the car would not be able to move itself. In the years to come the automobile became a status symbol among society.
The people who owned cars were considered to be wealthy or part of a high-income family. If you owned a car you had the ability to travel around urban cities or take long trips without having to take a train everywhere you wanted to go. As the car became more and more popular the demand became greater. Car builders at first produced only a few cars per day. Then with the invention of the assembly line that changed. With the invention of the assembly line in 1907, car out put began to increase dramatically.
In 1903, 12 skilled workers were able to assemble 144 cars a week. Then in 1905, 300 workers could assemble 7, 500 cars a week. With the assembly line each individual was given a task that he would perform more then 1000 times a day. Henry Ford was the first to double his wages for workers as more automobiles were built and the price of the automobile went down. As more and more cars were sold Henry Ford was able to pay his workers a little more as the prices of cars slowly dropped and as cars became more in demand. Soon more and more people would own a car no matter what their economic income was.
From 1914 to 1927 car prices dropped from 500 dollars to as low as 300 dollars. With the dropping prices cars became more affordable. As more and more advancements in technology were being discovered automobiles could be constantly approved upon. Improvements were made in vast areas of the automobile. Improvements on the engine were constantly being made to give it more power. The engine was soon made with an additional 2 cylinders.
With the addition of the cylinders configuring the engine became a new task. With this dilemma Henry Ford and his team of designers came up with what is called the v-6 engine. This design had the cylinders in two lines of three set opposite of each other yet both side were angled so the formed a V shape. With the addition of the 2 cylinders more power was added to the car. With more power in the engine came a higher rate of speed. With new improvement being made to the engine both the transmission and the gearbox had to be modified to operate smoothly with the new more powerful engine.
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Improvements also came to the car’s tires and suspension. The new tires were made a little thicker to help resist puncturing. With the addition of a better suspension system then in the first model T Ford, it offered a smoother and gentler ride. With these new improvements it made driving a lot more comfortable.
With engines becoming bigger and stronger it gave way for larger trucks. Since engines were becoming bigger so were the cars that used them. Moving trucks became a big improvement in urban moving and state crossing moves as well. With bigger trucks being built it made transportation of supplies and goods being taken to farther parts of the country were before could not be reached by trains or ships.
As cross country driving became more common more and more roads had to be built in order to handle all the traffic to come and make it easier to reach cities set farther away from any major cities. As more inventions came along for preservation of foods, some of those concepts were put to use. The combination of a freight truck and a refrigerator made it possible to transport perishable items farther with less of the items going bad. The refrigerator truck became very useful in trucking farm goods farther and faster then before the invention of the automobile.
With the new trucks transporting produce farther and more efficiently markets and stores were able to keep their food fresher and last longer in the stores. With food staying fresher longer stores didnt lose as much money on the rotten food and was able to lower prices of produce. With the refrigerator truck in use trucks loaded with ice to keep items cold or frozen were no longer needed. With trucks becoming bigger and engines working harder. The engine took a turn to using diesel fuel.
With the use of diesel fuel trucks could be run harder and longer then before. Using diesel fuel meant that the engine could run hotter then before without hurting or melting any engine parts. With the new diesel engine in production, trucks were able to be built bigger and have more horsepower. As a result the semi-truck was born. The semi truck became a substitute to the train. The semi was the largest production truck built for heavy-duty trailer pulling truck.
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The semi would tow a large trailer on the back. The trailer would be filled with what ever item that need to be transported in mass quantity to areas that a train could not reach. The semi became the king of the road because of its size. The diesel engine was also adapted other automotives.
New fire trucks were equipped with diesel engines, which allowed it to carry a larger load of water and have sufficient horsepower to reach speeds to quickly get to its destinations. Most industrial trucks soon were all outfitted with diesel engines so that they could work harder and longer hours. The typical school bus was out fitted with a diesel engine so that the school bus and regular buses could be made longer in order to hold more kids. Soon regular automobiles were fitted with diesel engine because diesel fuel became cheaper then regular gasoline. As the years of cars rolled buy soon car companies began to build sports cars. With the development of the sports car, many car companies became more competitive among each other to build a better car then the other.
Ford, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Dodge, and Buick manufactured the first sports cars. The most famous among the sports cars was the Chevy Corvette, which was first built in 1953. The corvette was considered the best sports car of its time. It was also the first with a head turning design. The corvette was the classiest of the sports cars as well. At first the corvette was considered the best on the road.
It had very little competition with any other car. As car companies began fierce competition with each other, all cars trucks, and sports cars became more powerful, faster, and more luxurious then each other. Cars also became more competitive in safety as well. New safety features were constantly being designed or being thought of that would make their car the safest on the road. As cars became more and more sophisticated and technological through the years, body designs became the key point of sales as well as safety. With every passing year car designs became more important in the aid of sales.
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In order to have some want to buy the car the design has to appeal to the car buyer. So with every year that passed a new design was made for a car. If one design stood out more then another then that design would have been the high point of that ten year period. A car design also set the pace for things to come and how people would respond to the new line of cars. As years progressed refinishing cars became an American past time. For most people this consisted of an individual or group of individuals with a complete affliction to cars that he / she spends countless amounts of time and money on refurbishing an antique car that is in need of repairing.
People would take on such tasks that in the end the final product would be a one-of-a kind classic car. People would use cars from as early as the 1920 s or cars of present day. The reason people would spend so much time on refinishing a car in hopes of all their hard work a little recognition and admiration for the time spent on the car. One of my personal cars that I would like to be able to rebuild is the 1969 Camera SS, to me this is a classic car that was built in competition of the highly acclaimed 1954 Chevrolet Stingray Corvette.
American history has shown even to the average man being to say that completing a project that you werent sure how it was going to turn out is worth wild in its self. The fact that countless Americans spend so much time renewing the history of the first car show that automotive history has effected the course of history as little as it seems. Rebuilding a classic is a way for some people to bring their youth back to them and help them remember the joys of being young. The uniqueness of rebuilding a classic car is that you never have to follow the same design of the previous design. By creating your own version of the past you bring a certain personality than is shown through the car you built. With so many Americans rebuilding the history of the automobile the countless number of people that participate in this past time are able to come together at a giant car show to show and compare and learn new ideas that they can use on their car or for their next fixer-upper.
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Not only cars are rebuilt but also some people hold special interest of the semis, and other classic industrial vehicles of the yester years and of todays. The purpose of rebuilding cars for some people is to be creative and see what they can do with an old styling and make an object of todays desirable’s. Included in the back of this paper are some pictures of classic cars as well as some rebuilt hot rods and muscles cars as partially described in the paragraph above. Even in the years to come car companies are beginning to look to the past to help make designs for the future. An example of this is the redesign of the Volxwagon beetle, which has become a popular selling car even though the its new design was take from the old design with a few mechanical and slight design changes. This proves that an old design could lead to a new craze with a slight design change.
If more car companies looked at older designs instead of trying to come up new ones they would see how a little change could go a long way. As seen though history from the first automobile to the cars of today, automobiles have had an important role in helping to shape the future. Without the innovation of the automobile the landscape of today might not look the same. Bibliography 1.
American Odyssey written by Gary B. Nash 2. Disneys Wonderful World of Knowledge written by Giuseppe De Florent iis 3. Internet Explorer 4.
The Book of Knowledge The Childrens Encyclopedia: Grolier Inc. New York 5. Popular Hot Redding Magazine 6. Street R odder Magazine 7. Personal knowledge given by Sean Chacon.