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Automobile History

Famous Automobile Makers


The men and women behind the over 100,000 patents that created the modern automobile.

1. Nicolaus August Otto

Nicolaus August Otto
One of the most important landmarks in engine design comes from Nicolaus Otto who in 1876 invented an effective gas motor engine. Nicolaus Otto built the first practical four-stroke internal combustion engine called the "Otto Cycle Engine."

2. Gottlieb Daimler

The world's first four-wheeled automobile.
In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler invented a gas engine that allowed for a revolution in car design. On March 8, 1886, Daimler took a stagecoach and adapted it to hold his engine, thereby designing the world's first four-wheeled automobile.

3. Karl Benz (Carl Benz)

Karl Benz
Karl Benz was the German mechanical engineer who designed and in 1885 built the world's first practical automobile to be powered by an internal-combustion engine.

4. John Lambert

America's first gasoline-powered automobile was the 1891 Lambert car invented by John W. Lambert.

5. Duryea Brothers

The Duryea - America's first gasoline powered commercial car
America's first gasoline powered commercial car manufacturers were two brothers, Charles Duryea (1861-1938) and Frank Duryea. The brothers were bicycle makers who became interested in gasoline engines and automobiles. On September 20 1893, their first automobile was constructed and successfully tested on the public streets of Springfield, Massachusetts.

6. Henry Ford

Henry Ford
Henry Ford improved the assembly line for automobile manufacturing (Model-T), invented a transmission mechanism, and popularized the gas-powered automobile. Henry Ford was born July 30, 1863, on his family's farm in Dearborn, Michigan. From the time he was a young boy, Ford enjoyed tinkering with machines.

7. Rudolf Diesel

Rudolf Diesel invented the diesel-fueled internal combustion engine.

8. Charles Franklin Kettering

Charles Franklin Kettering invented the first automobile electrical ignition system and the first practical engine-driven generator.
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