The History of Automobiles


Whether you are looking for the history of automobiles or for an overview of the automobile manufacturing industry, this article will provide you with some interesting information. You will learn about the history of The Model T, George Selden’s patent, and the Assembly line manufacturing process. You will also find information on Antilock braking systems, General Motors, and more.

General Motors

Founded in 1908 in Flint, Michigan, General Motors is one of the largest American corporations. The company is known for its four core brands, Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC. It also designs, builds, and markets trucks and crossovers. The company also sells parts, accessories, and insurance.

For much of the 20th century, General Motors was the world’s largest auto manufacturer. At its peak, the company had half of the U.S. car market and dominated in Europe, Japan, and South Korea. In 2004, it was surpassed by Toyota Motor Corporation as the world’s largest auto maker.

The Model T

Developed by Henry Ford, the Model T was an automobile that changed the way we live in America. It was also the first car to be mass produced. It was a reliable, inexpensive vehicle that made transportation on a large scale affordable. It also introduced a new minimum wage that helped to establish the middle class.

The Model T had a one-piece cylinder block, a 20 horsepower four-cylinder engine and a detachable cylinder head. The vehicle could be started by hand cranking or by using a magneto.

George Selden’s patent

During the 1880s, Selden began developing a prototype gasoline powered automobile. He named the vehicle the Road Engine. The engine was small enough to propel the vehicle at a speed of 14 miles per hour.

In 1895, Selden received a patent for the vehicle and the engine. This was the first U.S. patent for a gasoline powered automobile. The patent was valid for Brayton-type engines.

Selden’s patent was the first of its kind in the U.S., and it was not infringed upon. Selden sold the patent rights to several auto manufacturers. Eventually, the patent was overturned.

Assembly line manufacturing

During the early years of assembly line manufacturing for automobiles, craftsmen used their skills and tools to build individual parts. These parts were then put together by a single assembler. These products were usually large and complex.

As a result, assembly line manufacturing for automobiles was oftentimes a tedious and expensive process. Large firms could make substantial investments in an assembly line. They enjoyed a competitive advantage over smaller competitors. However, assembly line manufacturing for automobiles is not the only way to produce complex products. Other methods allow for customization and partial assembly.