As any other American or people living in our country, I have watched President Obama’s speech to the Congress. The official numbers say that 54.2 milion viewers have watched the speech last night, pretty impressive, but I wonder how many really analyzed the phrases and see if any mistakes were made.
Well, some of us did and we did find one, pretty important to…some of us, I might add. Sure, one might argue that this is least important in these tough times and I can only agree, but as media representative, focusing on the auto industry, it’s my duty to report it.
So, what did President Obama say that was false? Well, somewhere at the beginning of his speech, he said “I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it”. All fine and touchy, but history says that two fellows from Germany are the true inventors of the automobile.
“During the first half of the 19th century two men were born in Germany whose respective life’s work opened a new chapter in the book of transport history. Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz paved the way for personal mobility by inventing the automobile. For the first automobiles of 1886, everything that goes into the new motorized vehicle had to be designed and much had to be invented from scratch.”
Sure, in 1876, George Baldwin Selden came up with a combined internal combustion engine with a carriage, but Karl Friedrich Benz built the first true gasoline automobile powered by an internal combustion engine: three wheeled, four cycle, engine and chassis form a single unit.
On the other hand, Henry Ford Henry Ford improved the assembly line for automobile manufacturing (Model-T), invented a transmission mechanism, and popularized the gas-powered automobile.
But hey, loved the enthusiastic speech, I really hope that our economy and the world economy will recover soon, and hopefully we can all contribute somehow.
P.S. Please, let’s not turn this into a political debate, but if you have anything to add regarding automobile history, please do so, there is always lots that can be learned.