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History of The Automobile Industry: 5 Stunning Facts

History of The Automobile Industry: 5 Stunning Facts

The car is undoubtedly one of the most important symbols of modern civilization. To a considerable extent, it defined the way humankind developed throughout the course of twentieth century. Even though today we take it for granted, it utterly changed our lives compared to what had been before.

But, how much do you really know about the history of the industry that plays such an important part in our lives? Here are 5 stunning facts about car industry you’ve probably never heard about.

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1. The Car Is Far Older Than You Probably Think

Most people think that the automobile first appeared in nineteenth century. However, they are wrong by a margin of more than a hundred years.

The first documented instance of a self-propelled mechanical vehicle being built goes as far back as 1769 – it was a steam-powered tricycle built by French inventor Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot for the French Army. However, it was extremely impractical – it weighed about 2.5 tons, moved at a breathtaking speed of 2.25 miles per hour, was extremely unstable, and required ridiculous amounts of fuel and constant maintenance during the process of driving. As a result, the French Army abandoned the experiment, and despite several other attempts by other people, the car industry only took off in 1870s. However, every modern car brand or, as the French would put it, logo de voiture, is a descendent of that awkward monstrosity built by Cugnot.

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2. The Ford Model T Wasn’t the First Mass-Produced Car

The invention of mass car production is often attributed to Henry Ford, with the Model T cited as the first car produced in this fashion. It is not true – this honor belongs to Oldsmobile Curved Dash. It was introduced by the Oldsmobile Company in 1901 and produced until 1907, 19,000 units in total. It was built using assembly lines and interchangeable parts, and was quite successful for that time period.

However, it was Henry Ford who perfected the method in 1913 through the introduction of driven conveyor belts – using his approach, the Model T could be built in 93 minutes.

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3. The Best-Selling American Car Of All Time Was The Ford Model F-Series

With more than 34 million units sold since the start of production in 1948, Ford Model F-Series light truck is the best-selling vehicle throughout American history. This is not the only similar honor held by Ford’s cars – in 1916, about 55 percent of all active cars in the world were the Ford Model T. It is a record that has never been challenged, and it is extremely unlikely that it ever will be.

4. The First Cars Were Steered With A Lever, Not A Wheel

Controlling a car with a joystick feels like something straight out of a sci-fi movie – it is unusual and futuristic and just cool. However, in reality it is a concept that was used at the outset of automobile industry (only to be promptly forgotten) – most of the first cars used a lever, or rather a tiller to steer their movements. Steering wheels were found to be more convenient, providing better feedback and greater control.

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5. Engine Noise In Many New Cars Is Fake

In a hilarious turn of events, many car producers make their cars fake loud engine noise through speakers – the more efficient modern engines are mostly noiseless otherwise. The reasoning is that soundless engines would feel less powerful and impressive than their louder counterparts, potentially pushing buyers away.

The car industry may look straightforward and habitual, but in fact there are many things we don’t know about it, and these few facts are just the tip of the massive iceberg.

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned some new facts about a very old industry!

Featured photo credit: Dream Car/Adventures of KM&G-Morris via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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