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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Oliver Evans - inventor of the automobile

13th September
Born on this day 1755 in Newport, Delaware, to a family of Welsh settlers
Oliver Evans - inventor of the automobile
At the end of the 18th century Philadelphia had become a very busy port, but the harbour was prone to silting up, so Evans was Evans was commissioned by the Philadelphia Board of Health to help dredge out the city's dockyards. In 1804, he designed and built the Oruktor Amphibolos (Amphibious Digger), but at 15 tons and 30 feet long, it was a challenge in itself to get it to the dockyards. On the first attempt it had collapsed in Philadelphia's Centre Square, proving too heavy to be pulled by horses, so Evans, who had and had built steam engines for the flour industry previously used one of his steam engines to transport the monstrous digger to the docks. In so doing he had created the first automobile. He was however unable to capitalise on his invention, due to difficulty in getting financial support and patents and it was left to men such as richard Trevithick, to further the development of steam powered transport.
Evans also designed a refrigeration machine which ran on vapor in 1805 and as such is often called the inventor of the refrigerator, although he never built one and his design was modified by Jacob Perkins, who obtained the first patent for a refrigerating machine in 1834.

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