The history of the automobile is the history of dozens of men and inventions in at least half a dozen countries.
The first person to actually go for a ride in a motor vehicle was a Frenchman named Nicolas Cugnot. In 1769 Cugnot reached the impressive speed of 2,5 miles per hour in an ingenious steam-driven car he designed himself. However, his joyride along a Paris street ended unceremoniously. The car crashed into a tree, resulting in another history-making event- the first automobile accident.
Most historians recognize two Germans, Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz, as the pioneers of the gasoline-powered automobile. The first successful test run was made by Benz in a three-wheeled vehicle developed at his factory in 1885. Daimler made a successful test run of his own only few months later. Both men went on to establish their own companies, producing fine, handcrafted automobiles.
The two companies merged in 1926, forming Daimler-Benz, manufacturers of the distinguished Mercedes-Benz automobile. Originally introduced by Daimler in 1901, the first Mercedes automobile was named after the daughter of one of his first customers.
The unique contribution of Damlier and Benz was that their automobiles were the first to be successful commercially. Previous inventors had produced one or two experimental automobiles and then moved on to other endeavors. Daimler and Benz approached automobile-making as an ongoing business.
During the late 1800´s many of the great manufacturing names in automobile history became established. The French and Italians concentrated on speed and sleekness. The Germans focused on making their cars rugged and reliable. In the United States the emphasis was on low-cost transportation and convenience for the masses.
A major turning point in the history of the automobile was the introduction of the assembly line by Henry Ford, which made possible for the first time the mass production of cars, driving down the cost and making them affordable to a world eager to get behind the wheel.
Zdroj:Car and Drive, 1994
affordable = dostupný (cenově)
approach = přiblížit (se), navázat kontakt
assembly line = montážní linka
convenience = výhoda, pohodlí, vymoženost
distinguished = slavný, významný
dozens of = x- krát
drive down = stlačit dolů (cenu)
eager = dychtivý, horlivý, chtivý, nedočkavý, netrpělivý, posedlý
emphasis = důraz, zvýraznění
endeavor = úsilí, snaha
establish = založit, vybudovat
gasoline-powered = na benzín, poháněný benzínem
go for a ride = vyjet si na projížďku
half a dozen = půl tuctu
handcrafted = ručně vyráběný
ingenious = vynalézavý, důvtipný, geniální, chytrý
joyride = projížďka, bláznivý výlet, bláznivá jízda
merge = sloučit, spojit se
ongoing = trvalý, pokračující
pioneer = průkopník
reach = dosáhnout
recognize = uznat, poznat
reliable = spolehlivý
rugged = náročný, hrbolatý, drsný
sleekness = hladkost, rovnost
steam-driven = párou poháněný
test run = zkušební jízda
unceremoniously = neúspěšně
vehicle = vozidlo, prostředek
wheel = kolo
Autor článku Behind the wheel: Jana Zárybnická 06.11.2007