The Horseless Carriage
The first automobiles were basically horse drawn carriages
that had been fitted with steam engines, giving them the name “horseless
carriage”. This early automobile had been built in 1769.
The development of the internal combustion gasoline engine
had been created in 1876 by German engineer Nikolaus Otto. The creation of this
engine was a breakthrough for the invention of cars. In 1885, Karl Benz
manufactured the first car sold to the public in Mannheim, Germany. This
automobile was called the Motorwagen.
Facts about the Motorwagen:
1. It only had three wheels
2. It was gasoline powered
3. The top speed was 6mph - mot much
quicker than a fast walking pace!
“Fun Facts for Kids on Animals, Earth, History and More!” DK Find Out!, www.dkfindout.com/us/transportation/history-cars/early-cars/.
Mass Production of the Automobile
Model T, produced by Henry Ford and sold in 1908, was sturdy, reliable, and
easy to drive. In 1913, the Model T became the first car to be mass-produced.
Henry Ford’s assembly line allowed for the production of 10,000 cars per day,
bringing the price down to the level that ordinary people could afford.
about the Model T:
1. Black paint was used because it
dried the quickest, increasing efficiency of the assembly line
2. 15 million Model Ts had been
produced between 1908 and 1927
3. The first Model T sold for $850, but
by 1925 the price was $260 thanks to the assembly line
“Fun Facts for Kids on Animals, Earth, History
and More!” DK Find Out!, www.dkfindout.com/us/transportation/history-cars/early-cars/.
The History of the Racing Car
- 1895 in France: The first
official road was from Paris to Bordeaux and back
- 1907 in England: The World’s
first racetrack, Brooklands, was built
- Early races used ordinary cars
- The Bugatti Type 35 was
designed specifically for racing
- Formula 1 cars are the fastest
with speeds up to 22 mph
- The World’s oldest race, at Le
Mans in France, lasts for 24 hours and is still held today
“Fun Facts for Kids on Animals, Earth, History and More!” DK Find Out!, www.dkfindout.com/us/transportation/history-cars/race-cars/.
The History of Luxury Cars
the beginning, simply owning a car was enough to flaunt your wealth. However,
as cars became cheaper and more reliable, more middle class people were able to
afford cars. With more cars on the road, rich people needed their cars to stand
out to still show that they had more wealth. Therefore, carmakers such as
Rolls-Royce specialized in producing cars for the wealthy. These cars were
often made entirely by hand; their engines were large, powerful and
smooth-running, and their interiors were furnished with velvet, leather, and
“Fun Facts for Kids on Animals, Earth, History and
More!” DK Find Out!, www.dkfindout.com/us/transportation/history-cars/luxury-cars/.
Who Drove the First
- The Wealthy: in the 1900s, they
bought cars for pleasure, comfort, and status.
- Doctors: They bought small and
affordable cars because they were more dependable than hores and easier to
keep ready for house calls.
- Rural Americans: They wanted
cars because they could travel long distances without depending on trains.
- Families: They would use cars for
ordinary experiences such as errands, going to the train station, visiting
relatives, going to the movies, eating, and more.
Sources: “Early Cars: Fact Sheet for Children.” Smithsonian Institution,