By definition an automobile or car is a wheeled vehicle that carries its own motor and transports passengers. The automobile as we know it was not invented in a single day by a single inventor. The history of the automobile reflects an evolution that took place worldwide.
It is estimated that over 100,000 patents created the modern automobile. You can point to the many firsts that occurred along the way to producing the modern car; and with that goal in mind, highlighted below are articles, biographies, timelines, and photo galleries related to the history of the automobile and its many inventors.
A multi-part feature on the history of automobiles starting with the first steam, electrical, and gasoline-engine cars. Learn the controversy behind what was the first car in history and the importance of the internal combustion engine. The lives of many famous automotive makers are explored in detail with special pages on the assembly line, the origins of the name automobile, the patent disputes, and more.
The men and women behind the over 100,000 patents that created the modern automobile. Biographies include for example: Karl Benz, the German mechanical engineer who designed and in 1885 built the world's first practical automobile, and Henry Ford, who improved the assembly line for automobile manufacturing and invented a car transmission mechanism, and others.
Timeline and photo gallery of automobile history. Was the first car the 1769 self-propelled road vehicle invented by French engineer and mechanic, Nicolas Joseph Cugnot?
Just over a century ago, steamships, canals, railroads, and the telegraph were up and running. They were the technological marvels of the 19th century, setting the stage for the 20th century. Yet the invention that would spark a revolution in transportation was a simple two-wheeler - the bicycle. Its popularity in the 1880s and 1890s spurred interest in the nation's roads. However, it was the car that was destined to dominate the new roads.