Peugeot is a French automobile manufacturer founded in 1810. The company produces a wide range of vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and commercial vehicles. The company is considered one of the oldest car manufacturers in the world and has been producing vehicles for over 200 years. With that much experience, the company has a long history of innovation and has been responsible for many significant automotive technologies.
Let’s look at some of the more interesting facts about Peugeot and get to know the company a little bit better.
1. Peugeot Started as a Grain Mill
Jean-Pierre Peugeot was born in 1734 and is known as the father and founder of Peugeot. He started his business career in the weaving industry but later diversified into other businesses such as dye production, oil milling, and grain milling.
In 1810, Jean-Pierre’s two sons, Jean-Pierre II and Jean-Frédéric, started Peugeot Frères. They took their father’s old grain mill and turned it into a steel foundry. They used their engineering skills to make a lot of different steel products, like coffee grinders, springs, saws, umbrella frames, and bicycles.
2. Peugeot Could Have Been the Inventor of the Pepper Grinder
The pepper grinder was a game-changing invention when it was first created in 1842 by Peugeot of France. Before that, people would use mortar and pestle to grind up peppercorns, which was a lot more labor-intensive. The pepper grinder allowed for a much easier way to do it and was constructed of metal with individual grooves inside the virtually indestructible casing.
They introduced the Z Model, which was the first commercially successful pepper mill, and it’s the design that all modern pepper mills are based on. While the company never actually claims they invented the pepper grinder, it’s commonly assumed by many, even pepper historians, since that was the exact moment that pepper grinders started hitting the market.
3. The First Peugeot Car Had Three Wheels
Peugeot designed their first car in 1886, which was a steam-powered vehicle with three wheels. However, only four of these cars were made due to the heaviness of the steam-power engine and the long process of warming up the car. This was the result of their collaboration with steam specialist Léon Serpollet. Because of that, the vehicle was named Serpollet-Peugeot, which is a steam-powered three-wheeler car.
In 1890, the company released its first 4-wheeled vehicle, which was powered by petrol and improved upon the previous design.
In the year following, Armand Peugeot, grandson of Jean-Pierre, abandoned using steam power for his vehicles in favor of petrol. He then built Peugeot’s first four-wheeled vehicle that was petrol-driven, called the Type 2 quadricycle. This new vehicle had a Daimler engine.
4. The First Car Stolen in History was Peugeot
The first recorded car theft occurred in Paris in 1896, when a Peugeot belonging to Baron de Zuylen, a modern thinker and motorcar enthusiast. It was later discovered that the thief was the Baron’s own mechanic, and the car was returned.
5. Peugeot’s First Electric Car Was Designed to Combat Fuel Shortage
In the early 1940s, during the German occupation of France in the Second World War, there was a great fuel shortage in the country. To improve the situation, Peugeot built its first electric car. Peugeot called the electric microcar the VLV, which stands for Voiture Légère de Ville (Light City Car). The car was powered by four 12V batteries arranged under the car’s hood, which allowed it to reach a top speed of 22 mph and a maximum range of 50 miles. However, after Peugeot had built 377 units of the car, it was banned.
Peugeot is a company with a long and successful history. It has produced some of the world’s most popular cars, which are known for their quality and durability. Although Peugeot is not as well-known in the United States as it is in other parts of the world, it is still a major player in the automotive industry.
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