The History of Automobiles


The automobile is one of the most universal of modern technologies and a mainstay of the world economy. 73 million new cars were manufactured worldwide in 2017. The scientific and technical building blocks of the automobile began to take shape several hundred years ago, including concepts like self-propulsion and internal combustion engines.

Whether the vehicle was to be powered by steam, electric power or gasoline, the development of these concepts led to the first automobiles in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Despite their limited speed and high costs, these early vehicles had a huge impact on society.

From this point onwards, automobiles saw a boom in production and the development of new technologies that made them easier to drive, operate and maintain. The automobile also influenced lifestyles, bringing with it leisure activities and services such as hotels, amusement parks and restaurants. In addition to this, the automobile gave people the freedom to travel long distances and explore different parts of the country.

The development of the automobile also brought with it better roads, a booming industry for making car parts and the use of mass production techniques. This allowed the cost of the automobile to decrease which in turn made it more affordable and accessible for many Americans. The automobile revolutionized America and led to the rise of a middle class and the feminization of American culture. During the 1910s and 1920s women were pushing for voting rights, and the automobile helped them get their message across. Women drove around with “votes for women” banners and even gave speeches from their cars.