President Obama is wrong



Daimler, makers of the beloved Mercedes-Benz (“Look at me…I’ve made it and I want you to know it!”), is a little ticked off. In his speech Tuesday night on the economy, President Obama stated, “The nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.” Well, as it turns out, Karl Benz of Germany invented the first automobile in 1885. It wasn’t gas-fueled, but in 1886 he developed a model that was and received a patent for it.

Well, the President will have to do a better job next time with fact-checking. After all, the whole world is watching.

From the Library of Congress: Automobile firsts, compiled from info in Leonard Bruno’s book Science and Technology Firsts (Detroit, c1997) and’s History of the Automobile.

Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot (1725-1804) 1769 STEAM / Built the first self propelled road vehicle (military tractor) for the French army: three wheeled, 2.5 mph. France
Robert Anderson 1832-1839 ELECTRIC / Electric carriage. Scotland
Karl Friedrich Benz (1844-1929) 1885/86 GASOLINE / First true automobile. Gasoline automobile powered by an internal combustion engine: three wheeled, Four cycle, engine and chassis form a single unit. Germany Patent DRP No. 37435
Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler (1834-1900) and Wilhelm Maybach (1846-1929) 1886 GASOLINE / First four wheeled, four-stroke engine- known as the “Cannstatt-Daimler.” Germany
George Baldwin Selden (1846-1922) 1876/95 GASOLINE / Combined internal combustion engine with a carriage: patent no: 549,160 (1895). Never manufactured — Selden collected royalties. United States
Charles Edgar Duryea (1862-1938) and his brother Frank (1870-1967) 1893 GASOLINE / First successful gas powered car: 4hp, two-stroke motor. The Duryea brothers set up first American car manufacturing company. United States

By the way, we really like this picture of the President.

Speak your peace.

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