Steam Cars? Well, who wants to drive a car which takes 30 minutes to heat up before it moves? Nobody, right? Well! It was a luxury and a style statement to own a steam car, hundred years back.
1. Richard Trevithick, a British inventor, was the first to develop and use high-pressure steam around 1800. After this, it became commercially possible to produce mobile steam engines.
2, Following the production of mobile steam engines, many steam-operated vehicles were used for many applications.
3. The first-ever steam-powered vehicle supposedly was a toy built-in 1679 by Ferdinand Verbeist in China.
4. There is an unverified story that a couple of Yorkshiremen, engineer Robert Fourness and his cousin, physician James Ashworth had a steam car running in 1788. They even got it patented, and the patent number was 1674.
5. An Illustrated version of Fourness and Ashworth’s steam car even made it in Herge’s book Tintin raconte l’histoire de l’automobile (Casterman, 1953).
6. Many new car manufacturing companies were formed in the 1890s. Steam power was well established and was tried and tested at that time. Most of the car manufacturers were from the United States.
7. From the period between 1898 to 1905, many more manufacturers came into the industry. Steam cars outnumbered any other forms of cars in that period.
9. Ford’s Model T was one of the main factors for the downfall of steam cars, as it was both cheap and reliable. Introduction of Electric starters, the internal combustible engine gained more popularity than steam.
10. Attempts were made to revive steam cars, but new issues popped up in the 1960s. Air pollution became a significant issue and the fuel crisis of the early 1970s.
In the end, It does take twenty to thirty minutes for a steam car to move. But by the looks of these cars, it does make all the waiting worth it.
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