Cugnot design

Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot (1725-1804) was a French inventor to whom the French government attributes the invention of the first self-propelled vehicle or automobile. This attribution, however, is disputed by other sources suggesting that Ferdinand Verbiest, (1623-1688) member of the Jesuit missions in China was the first to build a steam car around 1672.
Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot was born in Void,

Cugnot design

Meuse, Lorraine. He received instruction as a military engineer and from 1765 he began to test vehicle models powered by steam engines for the French Army, designed to drag heavy guns. Cugnot seems to have been the first to transform the forward-back movement of a steam piston into a rotary motion.

In 1769 he managed to operate a version of his "Fardier à Vapeur" (Steam Car). The following year he built an improved version. It was said that his vehicle was capable of pulling 4 tons and traveling at speeds of up to 4 km / h. The vehicle, very heavy, had two rear wheels and one front, which supported the steam boiler and was directed by a rudder.

In 1771 his vehicle collided with a brick wall, in what would be the first automobile accident in history.

The accident, along with financial problems put an end to the experiments of the French army with mechanical vehicles, but in 1772, King Louis XV granted him a pension of 600 francs a year for his innovative work. With the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, Cugnot's pension was withdrawn and the inventor went into exile in Brussels, where he lived in poverty. Shortly before his death, he was invited to return to France by Napoleon Bonaparte, and Cugnot returned to Paris, where he died at the age of 79 years.

The machine of Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot of 1770 is still preserved in the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris.

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