I think it is about high time I started writing about history. Seeing as how I plan on making my career about history I thought I should start integrating it into my life wherever I can. While I have chosen Canadian history as my special focus, my blogs will reflect whatever tidbit of history I am currently learning about. This may include American, British, Japanese, etc. Do not take this to mean that from now on I will only write about history-nah-I write what I want, when I want. I can’t promise anything.
This semester I was lucky enough to have chosen “The History of the Automobile in America,” as a class. Besides being a very interesting class….I finally discovered where UVic has been hiding all the men! This class has kept me so interested that I have explored many topics on my own time. One of the most fascinating to me was the advent of the autobahn.
For those of you not aware, autobahn is the German word for highway. Auto-bahn=auto-course. Credit for the first autobahn must be given to the Italians. However, the autobahn in Germany was actually created with great support from Adolf Hitler. He saw the autobahn as a military advantage that would move troops and vehicles across the country in a quick and efficient manner. While the autobahn does not have a speed limit, it does have a recommended speed of 130 km/h. Oh how I wished I lived in Germany after reading this!! The autobahn is 12,000 km long with plans for future expansion.
The autobahn was not the only automobile-related interest and creation of Hitler. He also wanted to produce an affordable car that would beat out Ford’s Model T (the #1 most affordable automobile in the early 1900’s). Apparently Hitler had a picture of Ford on his wall for inspiration but this could be fabricated info. Anyway, Hitler hired Ferdinand Porsche (yes, creator of the hottest cars on earth-Porsches) to create and design an affordable automobile. Enter the Volkswagen.
While all of these facts are extremely interesting, I found the most interesting part to be that Hitler couldn’t drive! A car enthusiast who couldn’t drive! Oh well, you don’t have to be Chinese to enjoy Chinese food.
My information was obtained from “Cars and Culture: The Life Story of Technology,” by Rudi Volti. Additional facts can be found at Wikipedia and I have added their link to my site.