How far is your work from your home? How long would it take you to walk to a loved one’s house? The answers to these questions can vary, depending on where you live, but no matter where you are, it’s likely that you use cars daily in order to get around. The car is a relatively new invention, it is less than 150 years old. So, how did the first car come to be?
The very first auto was invented by German mechanical engineer Karl Benz. He had a lifelong dream of building a horseless, gas-powered carriage. Back then, such an idea sounded insane.In 1883 he got one step closer to achieving this dream. He founded a company, and as it grew, he had more time and more money to try and fulfill his vision of mechanic magic. He completed his first automobile, “Benz Patent Motorwagen” in 1885. But before it could be used by the masses, it had to go on a test run.
In 1888, Karl’s wife, Bertha, took the third model of that car for a test drive. She drove 104 km to her mother’s house, but the trip was far from perfect. Bertha had to stop the car several times. Few times she to get fuel (could you imaging having to stop every two minutes just to pump gas?) Bertha also had to improvise different repairs while driving the car, and it is rumored that at some point she used a hairpin to fix the Benz’s door. Despite the obstacles, the trip was declared a success. In 1889 Benz presented his Motorwagen in a large international exhibition called the world’s Fair. The Motorwagen was gasoline-powered, just like the cars we use today.
Meanwhile, in America, industrialist Henry Ford created the first mass-produced automobile in the world. By 1913 his “Model T” car had utterly transformed the nation. The car manufacturing process created new jobs and boosted the economy. The affordable price of the car provided people of different economic classes with mobility, independence, and convenience. Now, more than 100 years later, there are more than 1 billion cars on roads all over the world, and we, like most, can’t imagine even living without a car. Luckily, we have Benz and Ford to thank for that.