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Bus (in general) - 1

In Latin, 'Omni' actually means 'all or every'. In the case of the omnibus, those who pay can travel, sometimes those who don't pay travel as well. The expression was apparently invented by a French trader. Before the invention of the combustion engine there were already steam-engine powered bus-services. This was, because of the limited range of the electric motor vehicles of the time, something different.

On this note, we'll drop the subject of the two predecessors of the horseless carriage. Of course, apart from the railways, there were, since 1863, the steam-powered trains like the underground (tube) in London and since 1873, the San Francisco Cable-Cars. The electric street-cars were also the forerunners of a time-table bus-service using combustion engines, which was offered in 1895.

The world's first bus-service with 5 hp from 650 cm³

Unfortunately, the bus connection for up to 8 passengers in the Siegerland with two Benz vehicles (6000 Marks each) did not last even a year. For the solid rubber tires, because the ground was damaged by heavy horse buggies, it was too difficult. Even Daimler cannot score in 1899 with its 10 HP vehicles on relatively mountainous roads in the northeast of Württemberg. It seems to be too early for the regular service. Before the scheduled bus service, the motor car was already available as a taxi from 1897.

Even though today we would have to separate them, we cannot avoid looking at he development of the bus together with that of the truck. In the beginning, both were simply the heavy offspring of the Motorwagen/motor car. The most-bought model was the Benz Viktoria around the turn of the century. Accordingly enlarged, strengthened and with a shorter gear-ratio it managed, with only 7,5 kW (10 hp) to transport 10 people.

As far as the strain was concerned, it was no problem. As a rule, the weight of ten passengers amounts too much less than one ton of additional weight and in 1896 the first Daimler truck was capable of carrying 1,5 tons of payload. At this point however, the belt-drive turned out, of course, to be increasingly unsuitable. Thus the chain-drive is probably the first of a number of landmarks:

Stable ladder type frame with leaf-springs
Rigid front axle with kingpin steering
Rubber tyres to take a higher strain
More performance and torque
Stable passenger compartment, luggage carrier on roof
Upholstered, attractive bench-seats

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