Automobiles are vehicles that are powered by a motor to move on the road. They can be gas or electric. They can carry passengers or cargo. Typically, they have four to eight wheels and are powered by internal combustion or electricity. The branches of engineering that deal with the design & manufacture of automobiles are known as automotive engineering. Automobiles are a major part of our modern lives and it would be hard to imagine what life was like without them. They allow us to travel long distances with ease and get around. They have also opened up new opportunities for work and play. They have revolutionized the way we live and the world we live in.
The first automobiles were steam and electric but they eventually evolved to include gasoline as a source of power. Karl Benz is credited with the invention of the first true automobile in 1885. The automobile has had such a profound impact on our society that it is often considered to be one of the greatest inventions in history.
During the 1920s, the automobile became the driving force behind the new consumer goods-oriented society. It ranked as the top value industry and it provided one in six jobs in America. It was the lifeblood of the petroleum industry and a major customer of steel industries and other industrial products. It helped to drive the development of these ancillary industries and to change the economy and culture of the United States.
It also shifted the social norms in many ways. People bought cars to be mobile and able to work and shop in more places. Cars opened up new job opportunities, opened up the possibility of living in different areas, and even allowed women to take jobs that were previously considered to be a man’s domain. This included working as chauffeurs.
Cars were also a great communication tool as they allowed people to talk and see each other more easily. This was especially helpful in families where there were multiple children or if the family had to travel for work. Cars also facilitated a new form of dating that displaced traditional chaperoned courtship.
The automobile was also a very important social force in the fight for women’s rights to vote. In 1916, two women drove across the country with “votes for women” banners in their cars and gave speeches to encourage other women to vote. This was a bold thing to do at the time and it was an important contribution to society. As the century progressed, it seemed to be increasingly inconceivable, or at least highly inconvenient, to have a modern lifestyle without access to an automobile. This is a trend that continues to this day.