The Automobile Before 1915

I.  inventions of self-propelled road vehicles started in the late 18th and early 19th century, but steam engines and later battery power just didn't make a worthwhile vehicle.  (more early history )

 Cugnot's Vehicle
what you need is an internal combustion engine:

  Daimler 1886

you also needed decent roads, and the bicycle boom provided these, as well as a sense of the market.  The automobile probably could have been built 20 years earlier, but the interest was not there.

European automobiles were copied in the US

 1893 Duryea
By the end of 1895 something like three hundred companies were building and testing experimental automobiles The market had two segments
  1897 Curved Dash Olds

Model T Ford 1908

this page written and copyright  © Pamela E. Mack
 History 122
last updated 11/7/05