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1769 Cugnot Fardier

Pictures of the 1769 Cugnot Fardier - Tampa Bay Automobile Museum


1769 Cugnot Fardier - Tampa Bay Automobile Museum
1769 Cugnot Fardier - Tampa Bay Automobile Museum


History

Nicolas Cugnot, born in the eighteenth century in France, was an engineer trained at the Ecole Royale du Genie de Mezieres, the only (but excellent) school of engineering in France at that time. The Mezieres was closed in 1794 and the following year in Paris the famous school Polytechnique opened with some of the former instructors of Mezieres.

For twenty years Cugnot had been providing engineering expertise for Marie-Therese in Austria. In Paris he published books on fortifications, taught military students and worked on a self-propelled vehicle. His first prototype was tested in 1765 and a second one was demonstrated in 1769 for the General de Gribeauville, head of the Artillery, and the Duke of Choiseul, the number one man in the French government. The test was successful and the King of France, Louis XV, sponsered a new "fardier" (French term for a lorry to carry heavy loads).

Nicolas Cugnot with the cooperation of Michel Brezin, a talented mechanic, had the new prototype ready in 1770. The first test, according to reports from the time, was going well when a new mistress of the King, Comtesse de Barry, sucdeeded to Madame de Pompadour wha had died some time before. Madame de Pompadour was agood friend of Choiseul but Comtesse du Barry hated the Duke who was exiled at the end of 1770 and his successor was not interested in the Fardier. Subsidies were cut and the Fardier would be forgotten for thirty years at l'Arsenal de Paris where it was built. Eventually it would be saved by the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers, a museum where it is still on display.

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1769 Cugnot Fardier - Tampa Bay Automobile Museum
1769 Cugnot Fardier - Tampa Bay Automobile Museum

1769 Cugnot Fardier - Tampa Bay Automobile Museum
1769 Cugnot Fardier - Tampa Bay Automobile Museum