For most of us who live in the West life would be pretty difficult without motor vehicles. They have proved an enormous convenience, and though a drain on the environment, an enormous benefit to us in many ways.

But it wasn’t always the case. The first ever “horseless carriage” was built in 1769 by a Frenchman named Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot. It was an enormous three wheeled, steam powered, gun carriage, which travelled along at the neckbreaking speed of 1 kilometre per hour.

At the time I can’t imagine many people saw that great a benefit in Cugnot’s horseless carriage. It was very expensive, very noisy, and it couldn’t match the pace of even the oldest nag. Yet from that horseless carriage came a revolution.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that it’s OK to start small, with an idea that seems crazy, and watch to see if from that embryonic vision, something great might happen.

 

Source: Scott Higgins. Scientific info from Dr Karl Kruszelnicki’s New Moments in Science #1

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