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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 December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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