A Skelding Summary
One permanent feature of
life in Covent Garden
is the motorcar in many shapes and sizes from the stretch limo which
curiously resembles a dachshund on wheels to flash motors which also
function as mobile discos.
The automobile (literally a vehicle that moves under its own power) is older than you would think. Indeed wind powered vehicles were designed as early as the 1400s - and steam powered vehicles were developed in the eighteenth century. The first example of this was the automobile made by the Frenchman Nicholas Cugnot in 1769 especially as a gun carriage for the French Army. Unfortunately the vehicle's propensity to overheat and explode made it more of a threat to his own side than the enemy.
Petrol driven engines were first introduced in 1876 by the German
Niklaus Otto - yet really didn't catch on until the turn of the
twentieth century when Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz came to
prominence in the 1890s . These two companies
ultimately merged in 1926 and began trade as Mercedes. The luxury car
market was arguably born in 1904 with the creation of Rolls Royce. Only
The 1920s saw the foundation of many motor companies which became household names such as Fiat, Citroen, Austin and Morris.
Their size (particularly in America) has tended to get smaller since the Oil Crisis of the early 1970s - and reflected a shift away from the noisy and dirty "gas guzzlers" beloved of the 1950s and 1960s - though it is fair to say that in the depression of the 1930s and the immediate post war years smaller cars were favoured being cheaper to buy and run.
One urban feature brought about by the car - has been the motorway which was meant to improve comfort and shorten holiday journey times. Naturally with the motorways in Britain - they got it wrong. Strangely enough those constructed in America and Italy from the 1920s and the Autobahnen in Germany from the 1930s were designed for the military to use. That way, the Wehrmacht could rapidly get access to any adventure playground that took its fancy such as Chessington, Poland and France.
This FAQ (frequently asked questions) is also a running Q&A (questions & Answers) so you can ask and we will answer or find out for you.
Histories of Things