This article, brought to you by the New Cassel personal injury attorneys at Banville Law, provides a brief history of the modern car and information on local auto body shops. 

From Water Pump To The Modern Car

Long before Karl Benz built the first modern car, in 1606,  another inventor named Jeronimo de Ayanz patented the first machine to use steam power to propel water from mines. His idea was basic and the machine he created wasn’t really an engine. However, about 100 years later, an Englishman named Thomas Savery combined the knowledge shared by de Ayanz and another man, Denis Papin, to build an engine with cylinders and pistons that were powered by steam. 

Savery’s engine, however, was very weak and could only pull water from shallow water. It also had a flaw – it needed to accumulate steam to produce enough pressure to do any work. This accumulation wasn’t managed very well and explosions were common. Thankfully, another Englishman named Thomas Newcomen improved upon this design and created the first commercially used steam engine to pump water from mines. 

 Future inventors only continued to improve upon the design and eventually a gasoline-powered engine was built. In 1886, Karl Benz patented the first gasoline-powered car that he named the “Motorwagen”. This vehicle had three wheels and could reach speeds of about 10 mph. Benz went on to build another version with four wheels. 

Around the same time in the United States, the Duryea brothers built the Duryea Motorwagon and other American inventors began to tinker with building personal vehicles. As interest and ownership spread, it was only natural that the first car accident would occur.

The First Car Accident

The first car accident took place in Ohio City, Ohio. James William Lambert was driving a three-wheeled car that he had built himself when one of the wheels hit a tree root. The car was unstable and Lambert lost control. The car crashed into a nearby hitching post. Luckily, Lambert and his passenger were unharmed. 

Lambert, as it turned out, had terrible luck with his cars – the second car he built had four wheels and was far more stable, however, the engine caught on fire during a test drive and the vehicle burned. 

Castle Collision CenterNew Cassel are near personal injury law firm.
80 Swalm Street,
Westbury, NY 11590
(800) 246-3368

Vintage Auto Body
81 Urban Ave,
Westbury, NY 11590
(516) 280-5855

IA Auto Repair & Body Shop
QC3Q+VF Westbury,
North Hempstead, NY
(516) 334-7266

Our New Cassel personal injury legal team hopes that you’ve enjoyed this short post on automobiles. If you’ve been involved in an accident you may want to consider contact our law firm for a free legal consultation. If you’d like to learn more about New Cassel, read this post on the history of the area