Most of us think of French engineer Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot as the creator of the first automobile back in 1769. But, was his steam-propelled tractor really the first vehicle of its kind?
In a sense yes, because Cugnot used his tractor for a practical purpose — to carry artillery. However, Flemish priest Ferdinand Verbiest was something of a scientist who dabbled in inventing. And in 1672 he built a two-foot-long self-propelled cart with five wheels for the Chinese Emperor's entertainment.
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