The genesis of the motor vehicle

The first of eight exhibition rooms examines the various pioneering developments of the late 19th century. The exhibits show how the muscle-powered two-wheeler of Herr Drais evolves into the first motorised vehicles, how the internal combustion engine prevails over its steam and electrically powered competitors and how the invention of pneumatic tyres makes bicycles, motorcycles and automobiles lighter, faster and more comfortable. The items on display reflect a time of unbridled belief in progress which inspires numerous inventions in every area of human endeavour. In the years leading up to the First World War, enterprising engineers transform coaches with engines into automobiles (e.g. the Benz Victoria) and bicycles with auxiliary engines into motorcycles (e.g. the Hildebrand & Wolfmüller). The increasingly busy and dangerous traffic leads to the first legal regulations and road signs. A photo opportunity with a historical penny-farthing awaits photogenic and nostalgically minded visitors.