Romfilatelia continues the series of postage stamps themes dedicated to automobile enthusiasts, introducing into circulation on Thursday, January 26th this year, The history of the automobile issue, consisting of four stamps, 1 First Day Cover and a set of maxi-cards for maximaphily.
In addition to comfort and speed, automobiles often turn out to be real collector’s items.
The history of the automobile begins in 1769, with the creation of the steam-powered automobile that could carry people on board. In 1806, vehicles equipped with internal combustion engines that ran on liquid fuel appeared. Around 1900, electric motor vehicles also appeared.
The inventor of the automobile in the modern sense is Karl Benz. This engineer of German origin obtained the patent for the automobile, somewhere in the year 1886. His car was called Motorwagen and represented an automobile based on a four-stroke explosion engine. The car only reached 16 km/h, which is extremely little compared to the Koenigsegg One 1, considered in 2017 the fastest car. The latter reaches a speed of 450 km/h, something that in 1886 was almost impossible to imagine.
Four vintage automobiles and their manufacturing companies are presented in the History of the automobile postage stamps issue:
The electric car Jamais Contente, meaning “The Never Satisfied”, illustrated on the stamp with the face value of Lei 2.30, is the first land vehicle in the world to exceed the speed of 100 kilometers per hour. The record was set by the daring Belgian driver Camille Jenatzy on April 29th, 1899. The car had aerodynamic torpedo-shaped bodywork.
The Jentazy family produced car tires, Camille was attracted to passenger cars, and in 1898 he manufactured a car called Dogcart with which he ran at 80.35 km/h. He then built the electric Jamais Contente model, with which he broke his record on April 29th, 1899, running at 105.26 km/h.
De Dion-Bouton, the French company, was founded in 1883 by the Marquis Jules-Albert de Dion with the idea of a toy locomotive he had seen in a shop window. In 1884 he had already built his second car, La Marquise, with a steam boiler, and in 1888 he won the first car race organized by Le Vélocipède, being the only competitor. The maximum speed reached in the race was 60 km/h, and the company produced the most successful cars of the first decade of the 20th century, participating with 3 cars in the Pekin-Paris races in 1907 and in the Great New York-to-Paris Auto Race of 1908.
An automobile produced by this company is depicted on the stamp with the face value of Lei 3.00.
Brasier, a French automobile manufacturer, was active from 1902 to 1930, and sold approximately 1,000 units annually. The big success was in 1904 and 1905 when Thery, piloting a Brasier, won the Gordon Bennett Race. They were mainly cars intended for the general public.
The stamp with the face value of Lei 9.00 illustrates a Brasier make automobile.
Duryea was the first American company to produce in 1895 the first gasoline-powered car in the US, 4 horsepower, which reached 12 km/h. The first 10 cars sold in the US were the Duryea. The company fell into obscurity around 1909 when Ford produced the Model T. The Duryea company also tried to produce a “popular” model in the following years, but was not to be a match for Ford. A Stevens-Duryea make automobile is shown on the stamp with the value of Lei 19.50.
Romfilatelia brings thanks to Engineer Marius Muntean, Ph.D., author of the book “Pioneers of Car Racing”, for the documentary support given to the development of this postage stamps issue.