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An American and European technological difference: the early motor car power source

Foreman-Peck, James ORCID: 2019. An American and European technological difference: the early motor car power source. Business History 61 (7) , pp. 1158-1174. 10.1080/00076791.2019.1590338

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Leslie Hannah contends that Europe was a more integrated market than the US at the turn of the twentieth century. This article shows lesser integration is part of the explanation for why the US was slower than Europe to standardise technology on the internal combustion engine for the motor car. The remaining contribution is that of US abundant oil deposits and water that encouraged the American development of cheaper first cost steam engines. These used more (liquid) fuel and less capital. In Europe, oil fuel prices relative to skilled labour were less appropriate for steam and European car entrepreneurs therefore focused on internal combustion engines. Distinctive US conditions were much less helpful for innovation and improvement before the continental US market was well established.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0007-6791
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 April 2019
Date of Acceptance: 15 February 2019
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 07:29

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