No President Obama, our nation did not invent the automobile!

Others | February 26th, 2009 by 7

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 …


AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

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.

WIKI on the Automobile History

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.

7 responses to “No President Obama, our nation did not invent the automobile!”

  1. Gil says:

    Ha ha…. I noticed that too. I remembered correcting a kid that I tutor about this. He thought it was Ford, because Model-T is usually the one mentioned over and over again.

    Selden: I think his patent was never issued because it didn’t work in 1879, and he didn’t get it until quite a bit later. Don’t remember what year (and I’m too lazy to do exacting research at the moment), but I think Benz beat him to it. Oh well.

  2. Jag says:

    those 2 guys who invented the automobile also founded what is still now our greatest rival! :))

  3. Doug says:

    I think president Obama wasn’t so much making a mistake as making an *assertion*. So… recheck those facts unless you want to disappear. That means YOU, history buffs.

  4. BenzFan says:

    Sorry, Mr Obama! The car was invented by Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler in 1886. That’s a fact. I’m so sorry…

    P.S.: Mercedes4ever!!!

  5. Jag says:

    @BenzFan: Wow, you’re so brave to say that here!

  6. Horatiu B. says:

    @Jag: Why? Everyone has the right to say whatever they want to as long as it stays decent….Mercedes are great cars and some people like them better than BMW…

  7. szlaeyer says:

    If we want to be more specific, let’s not forget about da Vinci (for this and Cugnot (see the wiki link), beat “ze germans” as well in building something that moved on it’s own…

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