Who invented the automobile? | News


Who invented the automobile? It’s a simple question. But the answer is not that simple. In the 15th century, Leonardo da Vinci created designs for various forms of transport. In 1769, Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot invented a three-wheeled military steam tractor for the French army that could travel at 4 km / h. In the 1830s, Robert Anderson invented an electric car in Scotland.

It is generally believed that Karl Benz developed the first gasoline-powered four-stroke internal combustion engine that powered a three-wheeled vehicle in Germany in 1886. Some claim that the first automobile in America was created by Charles and Frank Duryea who set up an automobile manufacturing company in 1893.

However, there is an affidavit from a Mr. James Swoveland of Ohio City, Ohio that he drove with John William Lambert in his horseless carriage through the streets of Ohio City in the summer of 1891. The vehicle had two large wheels at the rear, a small wheel at the front, was steered by a lever and had a fringed top. The following year he had upgraded his single-cylinder engine and joined his father and brother in Union City, Ohio.

At the time, the old Baily Products building on Division Street housed the Pioneer Pole and Shaft Company. This building was converted for the manufacture of stationary gas engines. Lambert posted flyers advertising his invention for sale, but few accepted it. He never insisted on inventing the first gasoline car in America. Since he was not very successful in selling them, he instead allowed his friend Elwood Haynes of Portland to claim the honor in the advertisement for his gasoline vehicle.

The Lambert family founded the Union Automobile Company in Union City in 1902. Production soon reached 10 cars per month. It is estimated that they sold around 300 of these cars, but none exist today.

In 1904 he built a second factory in Anderson. This led to the formation of the Lambert Automobile Company in 1905. It employed over 1,000 people and produced 3,000 cars and trucks per year. With the success of his farm tractor, he built a new factory in El Segundo, California.

During World War I, Lambert’s factories were converted to produce items for National Defense. After the war, the company decided to go into fields related to automobile manufacturing. The company still exists as Lambert Incorporated and has factories in Ansonia and Dayton where it produces auto parts, machine tools, and lawn and industrial sweepers.

Only a few Lambert vehicles remain, two belong to the family. It is still questionable who invented the automobile, but east-central Indiana and southwestern Ohio have a valid claim to be home to some of the nation’s first gasoline-powered automobiles.


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