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Word Count: 1,483
In 1900 the average American traveled about 1200 miles in a lifetime mostly on foot and mostly within his or her own village or town By the end of the century the typical American adult would travel some 12000 miles by automobile alone in just one year About 8000 cars were registered in the America at the start of the 20th century There are now some half billion in the world with one-third in the United States where more than 15 trillion miles are traveled each year How the auto industry grew from a few thousand Tin Lizzies to the modern aerodynamic and multipurpose vehicles of today is a chronicle of engineering at its most resourceful - from materials development to mass production techniques For hundreds of years humans have attempted to develop means for faster more economical travel Vehicles have been powered by humans animals springs clockwork and wind In 1769 Frenchman Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot built the first automobile which was actually a steam-powered tricycle For much of the 19th century steam power prevailed despite the danger of boiler explosions and unpleasant odors left by
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