When were steering wheel, black tires and other first features added to cars?


Posted by: Oluwaseun Solomon

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How well do you know the history of automobiles? Can you recognize some of the first features and inventions? See these surprisingly first features added to cars in the list below!

Naijauto.com cannot be the leading online car trading platform in Nigeria without having a deeper knowledge of the background history of automobiles, it’s just impossible!

To prove that we do know somethings, we have decided to give you a quick ride down memory lane in this article by diving into the world of first automobiles in history.

If you are conversant with automobile history, you will understand that quite a lot has happened over the years ever since Karl Benz successfully created the first practical car/automobile in the year 1885. And today, we will show you some special features that were first added to cars, including steering wheel and black tires!


The first ever practical car was created by Karl Benz in 1885

1. Steering wheel got introduced 9 years after the first car invented

Believe it or not, before the first steering wheel came along, it was almost a decade way after Karl Benz had made the world’s first practical car.

In the year 1894, the first steering wheel was actually invented by Alfred Vacheron. And before this invention, cars normally used tillers for steering purposes – the same used in steering boats.


Steering wheels were never featured in cars until 1894 when it got invented by Alfred Vacheron

You can imagine how driving would be so tedious back then. But, thanks to the bicycle-sized smaller tyres of those days which were fitted in cars, they made the steering process a bit easier than expected. And along the line, Francis W. Davis invented today’s loved power steering in the 1920s.

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2. Cars before 1905 were all "topless"

Don’t be surprised to know that the early cars were far different in looks from the ones we have today; cars back then would have more of a horse-drawn carriage type of look.

The first drivers never really enjoyed all the luxury we now have today in cars. They would suffer from dust, sunlight, snow and even rain. Too horrible to imagine, isn’t it?

These first type of cars were so terrible that there was never really much comfort for both occupants and drivers altogether.


Driving in the first cars was not so comfy as they were all without cabin enclosure

This sad story got a twist in the year 1905 when the automaker Cadillac unveiled the world’s first closed car for real. Even at that time, it was still only offered as an option for only those who could afford it at that time. And in the year 1910, Cadillac finally started producing all of its vehicles to be closed tops.

3. The first car radio/stereo came to life in 1922

Can you imagine how boring it could have been, travelling in cars with no radios or stereo system?

Sound systems such as car radios, stereos and infotainment systems today go a long way in adding fun to driving modern day cars.

This is why we should forever remain grateful to Chevrolet for installing the first ever car radio in the year 1922. It was really difficult back then to get it to be accepted as a standard feature for cars.


Car radios would never be a feature today if the debates hadn't won against the opposing parties of old

The opposing parties back then claimed that the radio would be some sort of serious distraction to all drivers and could make them sleep off while driving. They even went further to propose some serious laws against installing them in cars of those days.

Nonetheless, the Radio Manufacturers Association luckily had a totally different view back then. They claimed and insisted that car radios kept drivers awake instead and could really be used to inform/communicate to the drivers - information regarding the weather and the road which they ply on.

It wasn’t until the 1930s that car radios now became a true standard feature for cars.

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4. Why car tires must be black while it originally stayed white?

If you asked a little boy or girl today; what is the colour of a car tire? They will surely give you just one answer, which is “black”, right?

But little would you know that back in those days after inventing car tires, they all usually come in plain white colour. The reason behind this being that they were all mostly made of natural white rubbers completely.


Earlier cars would have all white coloured car tires because the tires are made of natural white rubbers

Nonetheless, car tires back then still usually tuned black as time goes on and they absorb black soot being released from the cars’ exhaust.

Later along the line, observations were made by some manufacturers who realized that this soot does make the car tyres last longer than expected. This is why the now opted for a new material which has similar chemical properties as the soot itself and that material happens to be carbon black.

Adopting the carbon black has really made car tyres now capable of being stronger and well protected against UV rays and it also helps absorb heat from the vehicle itself.

>>> To see more up-to-date News and reports like this, navigate to our car news, auto-launch, and automotive industry updates.

Oluwaseun Solomon
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Oluwaseun Solomon

Oluwaseun Solomon

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Oluwaseun Solomon is a prolific and diligent automobile writer at Naijauto.com. He's also an experienced digital marketer and a creative multimedia developer that specializes in video editing. He currently contributes informative and easy to read articles on topics covering transportation, traffic updates, auto industry updates, and different car reviews.
When Solomon is not writing, you will either find him composing music, editing videos or simply enjoying YouTube "TEDx Talk" videos with a chilled drink :)

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