De Dion-Bouton

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De Dion-Bouton was a French automobile manufacturer and railcar manufacturer operating from 1883 to 1932. The company was founded by the Marquis Jules-Albert de Dion, Georges Bouton (1847–1938) and his brother-in-law Charles Trépardoux.

The company was formed after de Dion in 1881 saw a toy locomotive in a store window and inquired about the toymakers, to build another. Engineers Bouton and Trépardoux had been making a starvation-living on scientific toys at a shop in the Passage de Léon, close to the "rue de la Chapelle" in Paris. Trépardoux had long dreamed of building a steam car, but neither could afford it. De Dion, already inspired by steam (though in the form of rail locomotives) agreed, and De Dion, Bouton et Trépardoux was formed in Paris in 1883. This became the de Dion-Bouton automobile company, the world's largest automobile manufacturer for a time, becoming well-known for their quality, reliability, and durability.Wise, pp. 511–4 passim.



Steam cars

Before 1883 was over they had set up shop in larger premises in the Passage de Léon, Paris, tried and dropped steam engines for boats, and produced a steam car. With the boiler and engine mounted at the front, driving the front wheels by belts and...
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