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Tech Throwback: Today In 1896, Henry Ford Unveils The Quadricycle

On 4th June 1896, Henry Ford unveiled the Ford Quadricycle in a shed behind his home and he test drove it. This article brings details surrounding the project and its importance to car technology today.


Before the achievement in 1896, Henry Ford had been working at Edison Illuminating Company of Detroit and became the company’s chief engineer in 1893. It was after this promotion that he went back to his dream of developing gasoline engines. He used his personal funds to finance the project until he was able to complete the self-propelling vehicle.


At the time, many other automobile projects were ongoing in other parts of the world as well. In fact, Karl Benz had already started introducing four-wheeler vehicles three years earlier. Benz also designed and patented the first internal-combustion flat engine in 1896 as well.


However, Ford’s designs were remarkable because he was more focused on building ‘fast cars’. When he test-drove the Quadricycle in Detroit in 1896, it weighed 500 pounds. The vehicle had no brakes or reverse gears but it could reach a speed of 20 miles per hour. Following this early success, the engineer kept trying new ways to improve his designs.

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In 1901, he designed and built a vehicle that has 26-horsepower, he also built the first Henry Ford Company in November of that year. Only a year later, he left the company and it was renamed Cadillac Automobile Company.


Tech Throwback: Today In 1896, Henry Ford Unveils The Quadricycle
The 999 set a new land speed record in 1903. Photo: LegendaryList.


When he partnered with investors which included Alexander Malcomson, the Dodge brother and others, Ford was able to build a fast vehicle, 999, that set a new land speed record of 91.3 miles per hour in 1903.


Another remarkable feat Henry Ford achieved was producing the Model T vehicle. It was the first car to introduce the powerful steering wheel and also had all its engine and transmission covered. It was also cheap, which was the inventor’s dream. From the Model T cars on, Ford’s name became famous in America and the world as well.


Soon in 1913, to speed up mass production, he introduced the moving assembly plants to his car plants. Thus, 17 years after unveiling the Quadricycle, Henry Ford was set on his path to mass-produce his dream ‘fast cars’.


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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.

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