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Birth And Growth Of The Automobile

3 Pages 831 Words

Through the course of the 20th century, there were many engineering marvels. The “Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century” are presented at, complete with a history and timeline of that particular technology. This list of achievements was compiled by the National Academy of Engineering, along with 30 other professional engineering societies. I have chosen to write about the birth and continued development of the automobile.
As with any developing technology, the growth and development of the automobile was driven by the factors that cause technical change. I believe the two factors that played a key role for the automobile were consumer demand and government action. Consumer demand is just what it sounds like, consumers want a new technology, and are willing to pay for it. Government action is also just what it sounds like. The government puts into effect new laws, which change the way products are manufactured. For instance, the EPA has mandated that all cars built after a certain date be “Environmentally Friendly”, by putting out less pollution and getting better gas mileage.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the average American traveled only 1,200 miles in a lifetime. Most of that traveling was done on foot, and within that person’s own town. This is where consumer demand comes into play. People wanted to travel, but they weren’t going to walk from state to state to get where they wanted to go. People wanted a quicker, more efficient way to get from point A to point B.
The first cars were electric cars and made their debut in the 1800’s. These cars could travel approximately 50 miles at 10 to 20 mph before needing recharging. By 1900, there were 50 automobile manufacturing companies in the United States. With an average cost of $1,550 per car, only the wealthy car, and only 8,000 were registered in the United States. With the advent of mass production,...

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