Automobile Origin


In the second half of the 18th century, Watt’s improved steam engine officially kicked off the first industrial revolution. Machine production gradually replaced manual operations. With the help of metallurgy and electrical engineering, German engineer Nicholas Otto developed an epochal vertical four-stroke internal combustion engine in 1861.

Based on this, Carl Benz made a single-cylinder four-stroke gasoline engine which was installed on a three-wheeled frame made of steel pipes and wooden boards in 1885. The tires of the car were made of steel spokes and round rubber and by rotating handle to drive the gear to complete the front wheel steering.

In the following year, Benz applied for an invention patent for this car, and the world’s first internal combustion engine car “Motor Wagen” was born. Year 1886 was then considered the birth year of automobile.

Feature Exhibits

1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen

Feature Exhibits

1910 Napier 15HP

Brass Era


The speed of change in the times always exceeds people’s expectations. At first, cars that were not favored or even regarded as “clumsy monsters”. They were then widely accepted by society and replaced horse carriages as transportation. It was due to the rapid increase in production efficiency with mechanical drives.

Upper classes’ pursuit of novel things has intensified the market demand for models with unique appearance, fancy interiors and spacious seating spaces.

Automobile manufacturers have begun to use highly metallic brass accessories to decorate the exquisite workmanship of the brass grille, polished brass headlights, delicate brass horns, sophisticated brass chassis and engines, etc. The luxuary design made the car look like as if it was wearing a gold armor. This period of automobile design and production is therefore also known as the “Brass Era”

Chaos Age


After World War I, the United States accumulated rich wealth due to the production of a large number of military equipment during the war. With the economic prosperity and productivity development after the war, people’s pursuit and consumption of material life reached an unprecedented height. This is an era when you can enjoy everything with money. Listening to music, watching movies and traveling have become the mainstream choices for people to have fun. With the popularity of cars, people’s demand for luxury cars with high comfort, good performance and showing individual uniqueness is increasing sharply.

After ten years of prosperity, with the collapse of the Wall Street stock market, the glory of this era, like fireworks, finally turned into a faint light in the leaves and went to die.

Feature Exhibits

1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

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1935 Auburn 851

Art-Deco Era


Art Deco movement originated in Paris France at the beginning of the 20th century, and then developed in Europe and America. With the strong development of modern industry, designers strive to combine the complexity and luxury of classicism with the refinement and conciseness of modern industry, emphasizing the beauty of mechanical power and rational design.

In the period of decorative art movement, designers in automobile manufacturing industry boldly combined the achievements of modern industrial civilization to upgrade their design motivation and material application. From the automotive industry design to the surrounding decorative posters, you can see rich lines, layer by layer shrinking outline, bright colors These elements with strong sense of power convey the artistic expression under the wave of decorative art.


Postwar Era


After the end of World War II, the military aviation technology which served for the war began to enter the civil usage and gradually popularized to the automobile industry. The electronic system of the whole vehicle with modern concept makes the driving style more unified and standardized, and the supercharged air intake mode also makes the power output no longer constrained by the cylinder and displacement.

As the most profitable country during the World War II, the United States had a great economy after World War II. In order to meet people’s demand for luxury, standard car size became larger and larger, and more chrome decoration was put on the cars. At the same time, due to the war, the weak economy of European countries inevitably affected the manufacturing industry. On the whole continent, the most popular car is the economical and practical compact car.

Feature Exhibits

1959 Cadillac Eldorado

Feature Exhibits

1986 Lamborghini Jalpa

Modern Era


The 1970s were turbulent years for automakers and buyers with major events reshaping the industry such as the 1973 oil crisis, stricter automobile emissions control and safety requirements, increasing exports by the Japanese and European automakers, as well as growth in inflation and the stagnant economic conditions in many nations. Smaller-sized cars grew in popularity. 

To the end of the 20th century, the United States Big Three (GM, Ford, and Chrysler) partially lost their leading position, Japan became for a while the world’s leader of car production and cars began to be mass manufactured in new Asian, East European, and other countries.