Cars That Shaped America
Cars That Shaped America
It is hard to imagine America without automobiles, since they are a huge part of everyday life. As we sit and watch old Westerns, we see that the source of transportation was once the horse and wagon. But transportation actually began with the horse, giving individuals the opportunity to travel a distance from their home.
So, what were the beginnings of the automobile? Depending on the type of vehicle you have a passion for, history shows that Henry Ford was the biggest influence in helping to shape America.
The first car was built in 1886 by Benz. In the initial stages, the car makers were going through several trial and error periods. With the discovery of oil, gasoline, and steel, a whole new world opened up to inventors.
In 1901 Henry Ford manufactured his first automobile. Henry failed at first, but was driven to keep going until he perfected his idea of driving an automobile. It didn’t take long for him to make a prototype that could withstand the rugged terrain. The best way to prove the vehicle’s soundness was to race the best drivers, which in turn, gave him great recognition.
The one downfall of the early automobiles, was the weak ignition systems. This gave inventors even more ambition to perfect it.
In the early 1900’s, cars and horses did not mix. Until the invention of the automobile, people would not travel more than 50 miles from their homes.
Once Henry Ford introduced the Model T, the world changed forever. Untouched territory across America was being discovered. The Roaring Twenties gave the automobile a huge lift – the type of car you drove expressed your lifestyle. The automobile industry was going strong until the great depression of 1929, which seemed to halt America and the automobile manufacturers.
Because of Henry Ford and his strong hold on the automotive industry, Chevrolet, Chrysler and Dodge were created. The Dodge Brothers actually worked for Henry Ford in the early years until they became disgusted with him taking all the credit for the vehicle designs, so they started Dodge. General Motors started not as an automotive company, but as a horse carriage manufacturer. Since they were being phased out by the Model T, the owner of GM decided it was time to design his own cars. Chrysler worked for GM until there was a falling out with the GM owner and he started his own company.
After the depression, cars were in full swing again until a brief stop in production during the First World War, when car manufacturers were instructed to stop making cars and turned to making military vehicles.
After the war ended, automobile production resumed and increased more than ever. Henry Ford, because of his passion for the Model T, could not see beyond it and because of that, the other manufacturers were in full swing and gained ground, knocking Ford to the second largest automobile company.
So looking back to this one invention, the automobile, this single most important of all inventions, shaped America. Without them, we can only imagine what the world would look like today. But today we are falling behind foreign automobile manufacturers. We need to nurture inventors and innovators. We need to encourage our young people to create and look far beyond their cell phones. We need to spark their creative side and become visionaries.
History tells us that when others questioned their inventions, people such as Benjamin Franklin, Einstein, Ford, and even Steve Jobs, all had visions for the future. Nothing good comes easy. If you believe in yourself, in your dreams, and your future, just imagine what might and can evolve from it.
Autonomous cars appear to be the future and many individuals are skeptical, but as you look to the past, so was their future. Happy Motoring.