The Harbeson, Delaware personal injury lawyers at Schuster Jachetti LLP have provided this article on the history of the car and auto body shops in the area. Our legal team hopes that in addition to some fun historical knowledge, our post will answer any questions you may have about finding an auto body shop in the area.

From Steam To Gasoline

Prior to the invention of the steam engine, the word was forced to either walk or use animal-drawn wagons and carriages to get around. Although inventors had experimented with using steam for power, it wasn’t until 1712 that Thomas Newcomen produced the first engine that could continuously provide power. Newcomen’s engine was inefficient and typically was only used to pump water, however, other inventors improved upon his idea and ultimately created high-pressure steam engines, powerful enough to be used for transportation.

In fact, it was in 1784 that a Scottish man, William Murdoch, built a prototype of a locomotive.

Although several designers built steam vehicles to be used on the road, the invention of the internal combustion engine and the high cost of building steam engines resulted in a lack of interest from consumers.

Gasoline Powered Cars & Karl Benz

In 1879, Karl Benz received a patent for a two-stroke gasoline engine. By 1885, he had built his first “Motorwagon”, a three-wheeled vehicle he patented in 1886. Soon after this, a four-wheeled model was built. Benz had sold 25 of his cars by the early 1890s.

In America, the Duryea brothers designed the Duryea Motorwagon, the first American car powered by gasoline.

In 1890, James William Lambert also built a gasoline-powered vehicle. His “buggy”, which contained a single-cylinder engine, was rather unstable having two rear wheels and only one in the front. While driving the vehicle with a friend, a wheel hit a tree limb and the vehicle crashed into a hitching post. Lambert redesigned his vehicle to have four wheels for stability, but his second vehicle was destroyed when it caught fire while out for a drive.

Thankfully, no one was injured in either accident.

The ongoing interest in personal transportation and improvements to the automobile industry resulted in the mass production of car parts and allowed individual mechanics to open auto body shops.

How To Find A Mechanic

Yes, a good mechanic can be difficult to find. If you have friends or family who can make a recommendation, be sure to ask. Even consider asking your insurance adjuster for a recommendation, as many companies have repair agreements with auto body shops. If you have to choose a mechanic on your own, be sure to ask questions, such as:

  • What certifications do you have and do any specifically apply to my car?
  • How long have you been repairing vehicles?
  • Is my car covered by insurance if additional damage occurs while in your shop?
  • How long will repairs take?
  • Do you work directly with my insurance company?

Always ask for an estimate in writing before you allow work on your car to begin.

Auto Body Shops In Harbeson, DE

Auto Works Collision Center
16271 Willow Creek Rd,
Lewes, DE 19958
(302) 732-3902

Auto Collision & RepairHarbeson, DE road near personal injury law firm.
413 N Bedford St,
Georgetown, DE 19947
(302) 856-7070

Lewes Body Works
16205 New Rd,
Lewes, DE 19958
(302) 645-5595

Community Auto Repair
514 W Market St,
Georgetown, DE 19947
(302) 856-3333

Our Harbeson personal injury attorneys hope that you are able to get back on the road quickly and that you heal from any injuries that you may have sustained. You can learn more about other services available to accident victims by reading our post about chiropractors in the area.