The gal on this Car, a 1929 Essex, is Brown Sugar.
The Car, as different from the cart as being self propelled instead of pulled externally. When asked who invented the Car, the Automobile, a typical answer will be Henry Ford, and indeed Ford made the car practical and affordable to the common man, but the car is truly centuries older then Ford. Auto Enthusiasts will often site Frenchman, Nicholas Joseph Cugnot as building the first self propelled vehicle, a Steam Powered Tractor built in 1769 to move cannons around France. However, the Chinese are known to have Steam Power long before Europe, Ferdinand Verbiest recorded to have built a Steam Powered Chariot for Emperor Chien Lung in 1678.
In truth, when did the first person balanced on a wheel, or set of wheels, ride such down a hill, or stretch a piece of cloth to catch the wind. Of course there are those that will say that a gravity powered wagon is not self propelled, while saying one powered by gasoline is self propelled. If a gasoline propelled car runs out of gas it stops, likewise if a gravity powered car runs out of gravity pull it stops. For a car to truly be self propelled it would have to be powered by perpetual motion, otherwise it is propelled by the stuff it runs out of when it stops.
Homer wrote of self propelled vehicles, and the Vikings are said to have had Land Yats, a sail on a set of wheels. A windmill powered car was designed in Italy in the 1300's, and Leonardo da Vinci designed a wind up car in the 1400s. A Water Powered Car was produced (yes produced, more than one was built) by Johan Hautsch in Germany in the 1600s called the Nuremburg Carriage, pulled by water spewing Dragons with trumpet blowing Angels to assist :) Built for Emperors, Hautsch kept the workings of his carriages to himself. The 1600s also saw the invention of the Internal Combustion Engine, fired by gunpowder, invented by a Dutchman, Christian Huygens in 1678.
By the early 1800s scores of Steam Powered Carriages began populating streets the world over, indeed the 1800's even saw Steam Car Races. An External Compression Engine was invented in 1860 by a Frenchman named Etienne Lenoir. Basically Lenoirs invention consisted of a preassure cooker to heat coal and a relief tube to vent the resulting gas to an explosion chamber. It was Alphonse Bear de Rochas who invented the 4 Stroke Internal Compression Engine in 1862, but it was Nikolaus Otto who was credited as Father of the Internal Compression Engine, although he did not re-invent such untill 1876 when he was granted a Patent. Another Frenchman, Siegfried Marcus built 4 Cars based on de Rochas invention, the first one being built in 1868, but it would be Karl Benz who would be named the Father of the Motor Car, although he did not build his Car untill 1885 (later, Mercedes Benz). Indeed from the conception of the first Mercedes [sic] the automotive industry did flourish, factories springing up everywhere. By 1896 plans began to be published in hobby publications to build your own car at home, and by 1899 Dyke offered a complete Kit Car. It would be 1909 before Ford revolutionized the auto industry with his Model T, notably, not even "his" first Car; but indeed the car that put the world on wheels. Ford produced the first truly affordable car making cars common.
The Roaring 20's. The Automotive industry was alive and flourishing into the teens and early twenties, money was there for the taking, like picking apples from a tree, all anyone had to do was build an automobile, everyone wanted one, and hundreds if not thousands took advantage building cars in their garages to sell to their neighbors. The Paten was broken, thanks largely in part to Henry Ford's stubborn and determined nature, which made it so anyone could build a car, could manufacture cars. The industry embraced the multitude of small entepurenurers, concentrating on supplying component parts to the back yard car builders. Wheels by McCue; Engines by Fafnir, Dorman, Herner?; Bodies by Fisher, Springfield, York, if you could think of it, it was available, all you needed was your Dyke, or other parts book; order your components and assemble your car designed by you. The Great Depression would wipe most of these Automotive Enteupurers out (Sound like computers today? IBM PC Junior Paten broken. Industry geared to supply components to multitudes of people getting rich building Computers in their Garages. Then Depression?)
The Great Depression certainly wiped out most of the Cottage Industry, the New Wealth, as it was intended to do. But the Automobile survived, however now only as large industry. A hundred or so automobile manufactures survived the attack, their owners to become the new rich. And, the Auto Industry stayed pretty steady untill WWII. Of course during war industry is converted to making killing and enilation machines. A handfull of Auto Manufactures did not survive the war, mostly for political reasons, Bantam for example, Bantam invented the Jeep, but the contract to build them was awarded to their competitor Willys, of course putting Bantam out of business. But most that did not survive the war was simply because the politicians decided to no longer rebuild their factory after it was blown up. ie. They lost the war and that was where X was built... But war indeed was a major turning point in the Auto Industry. Technology took a major change and became the race. Main Stream Industry, offering only the same old boring cars they had before the war was blindsided with two new twists in the Auto Industry, the rebirth of the Kit Car in Europe and the Hot Rod Industry in the US, both offering what the Main Stream Industry didn't and soon would find it couldn't afford, they offered something different, cars with personality. But new Ideals didn't just come with Kit Cars and Hot Rods, some actually upstarted whole new automotive manufactures to embrace the new technology and design that the main stream industry was ignoring. Tucker was a strong example of such, (I love the Movie Tucker, but it portrayed many untruths) having had the privilege of partaking in the restoration of the Tin Goose, the original Tucker, and one less notable Tucker, I have an intimate knowledge of much of the technology that went into these cars. It wasn't just the "Big Three" there wasn't a big three yet, as many Auto Manufactures still existed, but had the Main Stream Auto Manufactures allowed Tucker to survive they would have been devastated trying to keep up with the technology in that car. Indeed, even with Tuckers demise, Automotive Giants crumbled and failed trying to keep up with the car that no longer existed. Change was the next major killer of Auto Manufactures.
The 50's and 60's were certainly the peek of the Automobile. Generations grew up anticipating each new model year, as indeed they were different, changes dramatic and exciting. Many a tear was shed as Kaiser, Hudson, Studebaker, and many other Auto Manufactures fell to the great expenses of change. Each in turn were like loosing a loved one, but change was alive, cars were everything. Styled fenders, lowered roofs, tail fins, V8's, and power everything. Cars became so simple anyone could drive them, so powerful as to give anyone that thrill, and so dramatically styled as to take your breath away. Only four Auto Manufactures in the US would survive the contest of change, but the new Hot Rod Industry thrived even more. When a War is of Unique and Different, nothing can beat One-of-a-Kind cars. Great Automotive Artists thrived for this, Ed Roth, Dick Dean, and Barris to name but a few. Kit Cars were suffering but survived, they were still more individual then factory. But Industry had a new trick up their sleve, lobbying for laws. Early Laws were aimed at getting rid of the Junk Cars, the source of which both Kit Cars and Hot Rodders depended on, and other Laws intended to segregate land use to prevent just anyone building cars in their garages. Hobby and Collector Groups countered, saving our history and saving room for the artists, truly a never ending battle, many a collector and artisan having lost their dreams to over zealous and Unconstitutional Zoning. Lobbying not over, Industry would also embrace the double edge swords in the farce of protecting the Environment, the EPA, and the equally false safety standards. Both benefit in making it cost prohibitive for upstart companies to begin building cars, but both cost the Auto Industry greatly in changes they do not want to make.
The 70's and 80's are the death of the car. Change comes to an abrupt halt, horse power becomes only a thing of antiquity. Safety Bumpers, Safety Belts, Smog Control are the rule. Personality becomes a thing of the past, or at least reserved for the more expensive cars, as cars evolve to what form of the box do you drive. 90's and 2K dissolve the box into a blob, differentiation between even different manufactures becomes so bad that you have to hope to find a name badge to tell what the car is. Sales Pitch "Buy New" why, because new is better? Please... BS. And insult to injury, cars are engineered to be harder to work on, harder to use their components in unintended applications, like Hot Rods. But the Hot Rod and Kit Car Industry slip into Body Kits, reviving personality, and the more boring the car, the more dramatically such kits stand out. The improvements in fuel economy are impressive, everywhere but the US that is, with cars manufactured to approach the 100 MPG mark. Most cars indeed achieve 50 MPG, but L3 cars like the VW Lopo have repeatedly broke that 100 MPG. Maneuverability and breaking also continue to improve.
2K10's the revival. The Auto Industry pays tribute to it's heritage, personality is back, or it it? The great Muscle Cars are back, modernized in their looks, even the outlawed Horse Power is back, this time with that better maneuverability and control. The Blobs still dominate the industry, and cars remain hard to fix.
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Typically like 3 of any Make of Car to enter them into the Automotive Encyclopedia above.
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|Hudson1909 to 1957|
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|Nissan1937 to Date|
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