Today the world is filled with cars of all shapes, sizes, and colors. But just 150 years ago, this wasn’t the case. This article, provided by the Upper West Side personal injury attorneys at Banville Law, discusses the history of the gasoline engine, the invention of the modern car, and auto body shops in this amazing NYC neighborhood.

Steam And Gasoline Engines

Humans have always worked to improve upon methods of transportations. Since the invention of the wheel, inventors and designers have built a wide variety of wagons, buggies, and carriages. But all of these had to be pulled by either man or beast. It wasn’t under the invention of the steam engine that transportation was powered by an engine.

Although steam engines became a popular way to power locomotives, personal vehicles for the road that used steam power struggled to capture the interest of the public, largely because of legislation that tried to prohibit vehicles on the road.

But the legislation wouldn’t stop inventors from continuing to create. In 1879, German inventor Karl Benz received a patent for the first two-stroke gasoline engine. He then built a three-wheeled vehicle that he named the Motorwagon, patenting it in 1886. He also designed a four-wheeled model. Benz sold around 25 versions of his first car by the 1890s.

In the United States, the Duryea brothers designed a single-cylinder vehicle called the Duryea Motorwagon.

By the early 1900s, many Americans had become fascinated by the idea of owning a personal car. Car companies were born and the mass production of car parts and cars began.

The First Car Accident: Car vs Hitching Post

James William Lambert was another inventor who built his own vehicles. One of those vehicles was a three-wheeled single-cylinder car, two wheels in the back and one in the front. Not realizing that his car was relatively unstable, Lambert took the vehicle for a drive with a friend. The car hit a tree root and Lambert lost control, hitting a hitching post.

Neither one of the men was injured.

The next vehicle that Lambert created had four wheels, however, it caught fire during a test drive and was destroyed.

During Lambert’s time, auto body shops didn’t exist. Thankfully that is not the case today. Car owners have dozens of options if a repair needs to be made after an accident.

Auto Body Shops In And Near The Upper West Side

Boynton Auto Body Inc
204 W 101st St # 2,
New York, NY 10025
(212) 866-4757

Auto Body Pro SolutionUpper West Side intersection near personal injury law firm.
547 W 133rd St,
New York, NY 10027
(212) 862-9335

Prestige Auto Repair & Towing
2015 3rd Ave,
New York, NY 10029
(212) 722-7223

Auto Trend Barn Inc
1908 Park Ave # 2,
New York, NY 10035
(212) 866-2500

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident you may want to consider contacting our Upper West Side personal injury law firm for a legal consultation. For more information on services that could help after a car accident, read our post about the history of the Upper West Side.