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The father of car safety

3 years ago

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Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder


26 July 2021

In 1907 horse-drawn carriages rather than motor cars ruled the roads of London, Paris, Berlin, New York and pretty much anywhere else you might care to mention. And that included Hirtenberg, a small town 20 miles south of Vienna. It was here, and in that year, that Béla Viktor Karl Barényi was born on 1 March to one of the wealthiest families in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The boy’s grandfather, Fridolin Keller, was an industrialist and factory owner. Had young Béla been born to a working or middle class family of more conventional means, he might not have sat inside or travelled within an automobile until his adolescence, or even adulthood. But grandpa was rich and he owned an Austro-Daimler, a luxury car drawn along the road by internal combustion rather than anything as quaint as equine power.

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