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"I know I am but what are you?" - Diane

Cars 3

  • Date Submitted: 08/17/2010 08:56 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 37.8 
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Ferdinand Verbiest, a member of a Jesuit mission in China, designed a steam-powered vehicle around 1672. It was a 65 cm-long scale-model toy for the Chinese Emperor, that was unable to carry a driver or a passenger, but possibly was the first working steam-powered vehicle ('auto-mobile').[7][8][9] It is not known if Verbiest's model was ever built.[8]
Leonty Shamshurenkov, a Russian peasant, constructed a human-pedalled four-wheeled "auto-running" carriage in 1752, and subsequently proposed to equip it with odometer and to use the same principle for making a self-propelling sledge.[10]
Although Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot is often credited with building the first self-propelled mechanical vehicle or automobile in about 1769, by adapting an existing horse-drawn vehicle, this claim is disputed by some[citation needed], who doubt Cugnot's three-wheeler ever ran or was stable. What is not in doubt is that Richard Trevithick built and demonstrated his Puffing Devil road locomotive in 1801, believed by many to be the first demonstration of a steam-powered road vehicle, although it was unable to maintain sufficient steam pressure for long periods, and would have been of little practical use.
In the 1780s, a Russian inventor of merchant origin, Ivan Kulibin, developed a human-pedalled, three-wheeled carriage with modern features such as a flywheel, brake, Transmission, and bearings; however, it was not developed further.[11]
In 1807 Nicéphore Niépce and his brother Claude probably created the world's first internal combustion engine which they called a Pyréolophore, but they chose to install it in a boat on the river Saone in France.[12] Coincidentally in 1807 the Swiss inventor François Isaac de Rivaz designed his own 'internal combustion engine' and used it to develop the world's first vehicle, albeit rudimentary, to be powered by such an engine. The Niépces' Pyréolophore was fuelled by a mixture of Lycopodium powder (dried Lycopodium moss), finely crushed coal dust and...

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