Famous Automobile Makers

Famous Automobile Makers

There are several geniuses that need to be mentioned, who were the early pioneers at the dawn of automobile history.

A four wheeled Otto cycle
Nikolaus August Otto's four wheeled Otto cycle. (Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

One of the most important landmarks in engine design comes from Nikolaus Otto who in 1876 invented an effective gas motor engine. Nikolaus Otto built the first practical four-stroke internal combustion engine called the "Otto Cycle Engine." More »

Gottlieb Daimler Riding in First Automobile
Gottlieb Daimler (rear) enjoys a ride in his 'horseless carriage.'. (Bettmann/Getty Images)

In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler invented a gas engine that allowed for a revolution in car design. On March 8, 1886, Daimler took a stagecoach and adapted it to hold his engine, thereby designing the world's first four-wheeled automobile. More »

Karl Benz's First Automobile
The first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine, built by Karl Benz. (De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images)

Karl Benz was the German mechanical engineer who designed and in 1885 built the world's first practical automobile to be powered by an internal-combustion engine. More »

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John Lambert

1907 Thomas Flyer New York-to-Paris
John W. Lambert built the first American automobile in 1851--pictured above is the Thomas Flyer from 1907. (Car Culture, Inc./Getty Images)

America's first gasoline-powered automobile was the 1891 Lambert car invented by John W. Lambert.

Duryea Brothers Car
Charles and Frank Duryea's early automobile. (Jack Thamm/Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

America's first gasoline powered commercial car manufacturers were two brothers, Charles Duryea (1861-1938) and Frank Duryea. The brothers were bicycle makers who became interested in gasoline engines and automobiles. On September 20, 1893, their first automobile was constructed and successfully tested on the public streets of Springfield, Massachusetts. More »

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Henry Ford at wheel, John Burroughs and Thomas Edison in back seat of the Model T
Henry Ford at wheel, John Burroughs and Thomas Edison in back seat of the Model T. (Bettman/Getty Images)

Henry Ford improved the assembly line for automobile manufacturing (Model-T), invented a transmission mechanism, and popularized the gas-powered automobile. Henry Ford was born July 30, 1863, on his family's farm in Dearborn, Michigan. From the time he was a young boy, Ford enjoyed tinkering with machines. More »

Internal combustion car engine
Modern internal combustion car engine. (Oleksiy Maksymenko/Getty Images)

Rudolf Diesel invented the diesel-fueled internal combustion engine. More »

Charles Franklin Kettering (1876-1958), the holder of 140 patents, was the inventor of the self-starter for car engines, the electrical ignition system, and the engine-driven generator.
Charles Franklin Kettering (1876-1958), the holder of 140 patents, was the inventor of the self-starter for car engines, the electrical ignition system, and the engine-driven generator. (Bettman/Getty Images)

Charles Franklin Kettering invented the first automobile electrical ignition system and the first practical engine-driven generator. More »