Automobile propulsion

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Post by Davequanto on Fri Oct 29, 2010 5:48 am

The first working steam-powered vehicle was probably designed by Ferdinand Verbiest, a Flemish member of a Jesuit mission in China around 1672. It was a 65 cm-long scale-model toy for the Chinese Emperor, that was unable to carry a driver or a passenger.[7][8][9] It is not known if Verbiest's model was ever built.[8]

In 1752, Leonty Shamshurenkov, a Russian peasant, constructed a human-pedalled four-wheeled "auto-running" carriage, and subsequently proposed to equip it with odometer and to use the same principle for making a self-propelling sledge.[10]

Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot is often credited with building the first self-propelled mechanical vehicle or automobile in about 1769, by adapting an existing horse-drawn vehicle. However, this claim is disputed by some who doubt Cugnot's three-wheeler ever ran or was stable.[citation needed] In 1801, Richard Trevithick built and demonstrated his Puffing Devil road locomotive, believed by many to be the first demonstration of a steam-powered road vehicle. It was unable to maintain sufficient steam pressure for long periods, and was of little practical use.



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