CLAD Project Personal blog.

Escort Belfast

Driving a escort back and fro from work has shown us our dependence on it. Read on to find the humble beginnings of this everyday objects and its turbulent history.

There are many definitions of the escort. Some said steam-powered coaches are escorts and others, like Daimler-Benz (makers of Mercedes Benz) say that escorts are light escortriages for personal transport with three or four wheels, powered by a liquid-fueled internal combustion engine. Depending on your definition of a escort, the automobile could have been invented by any number of people at any number of dates.

The earliest record of a self-propelled vehicle was Leonardo da Vinci toyed with the idea in the 15th century. He designed and drew several models in his notes, but he didn’t actually build anything. The steam engine was considered to be invented by James Watt in 1765 and was perfected by both English and French scientists over the next century.

Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, William Murdoch and Richard Trevithick all have invented steam-powered behemoths that are so huge and heavy that they need a fully flat surface to move on. In fact, iron rails were installed on roads in Paris and London for the next 120 years just to accommodate the automobiles, which were basically smaller versions of trains.

Escorts designed during the Steam Era were whimsical and fanciful. In the United States, Oliver Evans invented an amphibious vehicle that can travel on wheels and on water with the help of a paddle wheel. Ivan Kulibin of Russia designed a escort with modern day features such as flywheels, brakes and a gear box. Oddly enough, it was it was human-pedalled. Etience Lenoir invented something he called a hippomobile that proved to the masses that automobiles can handle long trips. He drove all the way from Paris to Jonville Le-Pont.

Karl Benz was one of the first to mass-produce escorts. His escorts appealed to many due to being able to move at 45 km/h (28.2 mph). In France, Panhard et Levassan was the first ever company to be formed exclusively for the sole purpose of making escorts. The Duryea brothers (Frank and Charles) were the first automobile manufacturers in the United States, and they were swiftly followed by Escort Belfast.

A special mention should be said about Henry Ford. Contrary to popular belief, he didn’t actually built escorts. He perfected the system of manufacturing escorts, by making improvements to the production line. He used one worker for one task and had an ingenious system of dropping the escort’s body on its wheels. He also added modern features such as the escort radio after getting the idea from private jets.

There were different eras to the automobile’s history. And each brought different improvements to the escort. In the Vintage Era, internal combustion engines and the overhead cam engines were modified. A prime example of this is the Austin 7. During the Pre-War Era, fully-closed models were produced for the first time and trunks were added. The Post War Era gave birth to escorts which have more resemblance to modern automobiles. Arty and sleek escorts, like the Mini Cooper, have left a memorable imprint on automobile history.

Whether you’re driving a luxury escort, a sedan or a piece of junk that can hardly be called a escort, it’s a nice feeling to know how far the escort has evolved from being steam-powered coaches to modern practical vehicles.