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Old 01-24-2020, 01:21 AM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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Join Date: Oct 2002
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Jan 24th, 2020 : First Motor Vehicle

Nope, not Benz. A Frenchman, N.J. Cugnot (1725~1804) in 1769.

Some claim it was the vehicle designed by the Belgian Jesuit Ferdinand Verbiest, published in 1668 or 1672 in the book Astronomia
Europa and sometimes presented as the very first motor vehicle. But he only had a toy comprising a jet of steam and a wheel with
blades. There’s no evidence of anything built or that he had anything more than a theory. So he’s fake news.

Cugnot built his design and it worked... sorta.
A smart guy, he had invented a special rifle for soldiers on horseback, and wrote a couple books on military theory and history.
So he was known to the military big shots and the politicians who paid them. When he said he had a plan to build a steam powered
machine to tow cannons even E F Hutton listened because using teams of draft horses was slow and a logistics nightmare.



He got the green flag and went to work on this ambitious project, the dimensions of the vehicle are: 7.25 m (23.8 ft) long and
2.19 m (7.2ft) wide. The rear wheels are 1.23 m (4 ft) in diameter. It weighs no less than 2.8 tonnes (6,173 lbs) unladen, and
around 8 tonnes (17,637 lbs) loaded. The famous "pot", the propulsion system's water tank, measures almost 1.50 m (4.92 ft)
in diameter. The realization of such a project requires considerable funds: it cost about 20,000 pounds of the time, comparable
to $3,887,002 in US 2020 dollars.

So it was built and it worked... but not well.
The vehicle has four controls: the steering handles, a rod, which acts as an accelerator by actuating the steam tap, and two
pawls reversing the double movement effect of pistons causing reverse, and the brake. But pushing on the brake was only
good for bracing yourself for the crash.

His vehicle was difficult to handle and had a boiler that was too small which gave him a range of only 15 minutes. It was then
necessary to let the boiler cool and start again. Its average speed was 6 km/h (3.73 mph) and it covered 4 km (2.49 miles) in
1 hour during a demo for the Duke of Choiseul and King Louis XV. And that was that, they went on torturing horses.
But the vehicle still survives in a museum, viva Cugnot.

No link, you don't want to know how many sources I waded through.
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Old 01-24-2020, 04:01 PM   #2
Strahd Ivarius
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Note that the picture above is of the original "fardier".
A full scale replica was build a few years ago and it worked as described.
association "Le Fardier de Cugnot"

And there is also an American one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84_0n84an7g
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Old 01-24-2020, 11:46 PM   #3
xoxoxoBruce
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Thanks Strahd, seems it could take part in fairs and festivals but wouldn't be able to keep up with a parade.
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