Monday, 19 November 2012

Gratitude Day 20 Transport

Today as I am about to head off to my regular Monday morning group, I am very grateful for my motor car. The freedom I have to participate in any activity I choose with the ease of getting there with my car, is something that I truly appreciate. I could still attend these things on public transport however this would not be at the freedom of a quick decision like speaking with someone on face book and deciding to have coffee. Your activities if you use public transport would have to be planned to fit with timetables and bus routes etc. I have so much more time in my day to attend to other things because of my car. Going to the nursing home is a 20 minute drive each way however this would be much longer involving two buses if I had to reply on public transport and would almost consumer my entire day to visit for 1 1/2 hours.

My wonderful car of freedom - I can do anything with her
It is no secret that cars have played a tremendous part in the development of the world? A review of the history of automobiles and its production advances will give us a window into this marvellous machine. 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.

Many believe that the concept of the car formed years before Henry Ford was born. One of the earliest car plans was attributed to Ferdinand Verbiest in the late 1600?s and then again to Leonty Shamshurenkov in the mid 1700?s. These versions were only remotely akin to the vehicles we know now. These early auto pioneers used engines powered by steam with one version using a human propelled rolling machine. The car was truly in its infancy if not in utero. Later, in 1801, Richard Trevithick invented a steam-powered road car called the Puffing Devil.

Photo Source - 1771 Steam Powered Car

Cars were now on their way to becoming a tool of the masses. Karl Benz is probably the person most responsible for the automobile as we know it. In 1885, he built his first Motorwagen.

Photo Source - Motorwagen

The ability to manufacturer large quantities of cars produced on an assembly line was first introduced by Ransom Olds at his Oldsmobile factory in 1902.

Photo Source

By 1914 Henry Ford was taking Olds original production patterns and vastly expanding on them. Working on very specialized tasks in a safe and fair environment allowed Ford's workers to pave the way for automobile building success. As the efficiencies of cars began to accumulate in the United States the rest of the world started to take notice.

Photo Source - 1927 Ford Model T

Now that the automobile had the world's attention, Citroen, in 1921, became the first European factory to take up the assembly line method of manufacturing. With the innovation of electric ignitions, electric self starters, independent suspension and four-wheel brakes, it was now possible for cars to be in the hands of people of more modest means than ever before.

We can at least gain some insight as to how life changing the invention of the automobile really was and how much it deserves worldwide respect and appreciation. Cars are lovely, useful machines. After seeing the above pictures you can really appreciate our totally sealed car with air conditioning to make our journey so much more comfortable than being open to elements as they once were.

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