Auto Shipping and the History of the Car - Who Do We Thank?

By Tom Kearns

Someone will always be available to tell us to be grateful for what we have. We are apt to take many things for granted that we should not. We might take our good health, increasing wealth or, on the less personal side, a long period of world peace for granted, and this is not right. Many cultures have promoted the practice of revering and respecting their ancestors and elders, which also gives them more understanding of what future generations may bring to their culture and perhaps the world at large. Preserving history and remembering it can give impetus to innovation and excellence.

Where we began and who we are shapes us into what we will become. Just like us human beings, objects can find a beginning and grow from that also. Starting with the mind and melting of materials, the machinery of modern times was once merely a vision. An example of such a machine for which we are eternally grateful around the planet is the automobile. Without them, our lives would certainly be different; inconvenient, immobile and inflexible.

Cars have done much to develop society and gave rise to a multitude of businesses and many more innovations. One innovation is the auto shipping industry. The more imaginative and technologically sound the production of autos became, the more the demand for auto transportation came to be.

Auto transport today is as common as car warranties, leasing and insurance. Moving vehicles across long distances is a highly competitive endeavor and gaining in strength. There are always new challenges and obstacles, but learning from past experience can propel us to a better future. Following is a review of automobile history and the advancement of transportation into the industry we are familiar with today.

To most people?s disbelief, the concept of the car came long before Henry Ford was even born. One of the earliest car design plans can be attributed to Ferdinand Verbiest in the late 1600?s. Mr. Verbiest?s plan was added to in the mid 1700?s by one Leonty Shamshurenkov. Both of these innovators came up with a prototype that would be almost unrecognizable as a car today. They came up with a prototype toy powered by a stem engine and a rolling machine propelled by humans. Don?t sell them short, though, these two were real pioneers in the auto design?s infancy. Richard Trevithick set the bar higher with his steam powered road vehicle in 1801 named the ?Puffing Devil.?

Cars were now on their way to becoming a tool of the masses, hence giving a boost to the auto shipping industry. Karl Benz is probably the person most responsible for the automobile as we know it. In 1885, he built his first ?Motorwagen? and with it, car transportation services became much more of a reality. The many advances in car technology made after the motorwagen meant the demand for shipping these vehicles was waiting in the wings. Following is a peek at how some of the improvements in car production led to the expertise in the auto shipping industry as well.

The ability to manufacturer large quantities of cars produced on an assembly line was first introduced by Ransom Olds at his Oldsmobile factory in 1902. By 1914 Henry Ford was taking Olds original production patterns and vastly expanding on them. Working on very specialized tasks in a safe and fair environment allowed Ford?s workers to pave the way for automobile building success. As the efficiencies of cars began to accumulate in the United States the rest of the world started to take notice.

Now that the world was at the feet of the ?horseless carriage,? Citroen in 1921 became one of the first European manufacturers of automobiles to promote assembly line production systems. With the sharing of resources and with increasing companies becoming interested in this manufacturing technique and the car industry itself, auto shipping was quickly becoming an industry whose time had come. Innovations like the electric ignition, electric self-starter, independent suspension and four-wheel brakes made it possible at last for the car to reach the homes of the less than wealthy. As the importance of the automobile increased, so did that of the auto shipping industry. Cars were now seen all over the globe, thanks to the burgeoning auto shipping industry.

Obviously there would never have been a need to transport cars without the invention and mass appeal of the automobile. It is not so obvious, though, as to how much gratitude should be showered on the pioneers of the auto shipping industry. It is difficult to place a value on any specific car accomplishment, but with following the history of the automobile and the industries that sprang up around it , we can at least gain some insight as to how life changing the invention of the automobile really was and how much it deserves worldwide respect and appreciation.

Cars are fine, sleek machines and when they come to us in a timely, efficient and relatively affordable way, praise is due all those who made it possible. Knowing the history of any thing will give you pause to appreciate that ?thing? far more than if you never looked into it. The history of the automobile and auto shipping industries fit that category well.

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