Category: Transmission History

Posts related to Transmission History

There’s something emboldening in the feeling of shifting the gears as you accelerate down the road in full control of the RPMs. Whether you drive for optimal fuel efficiency, maximum acceleration, or anything in-between, a stick shift gives you maximum control of the transfer of power from the engine to the wheels.

Here’s how it works. Depending on the gear you’re in, there’s a different degree of torque being applied to the wheels relative to speed. Whether done manually or automatically, shifting the gears ultimately changes the amount of turning force being applied.

Where It All Started

Although the modern driver in America tends to lean toward automatic transmission, drivers at the turn of the 20th century didn’t have a choice as all transmissions were manual. It all started in 1894 when the very first concept of the modern manual transmission emerged in the form of a three-speed model introduced by French innovators Emile Levassor [...]

How Hydra-Matic Transmission Changed the Automotive Industry

Even if you’ve never heard of Hydra-Matic transmission, chances are, you’ve used the technology. Developed and described in Earl Thompson’s patent disclosures as far back as 1934, it changed the automotive industry. If you can’t drive a stick shift, you probably appreciate the ability to enjoy a fully-automatic transmission, and the Hydra-Matic marked the shift away from the clutch and the beginning of new freedom for drivers around the world.

Evolution of the Hydra-Matic Transmission


As with any innovation, consumer feedback allows manufacturers to make products better and better. Especially during its early years, the Hydra-Matic transmission underwent a variety of minor yet important changes:

  • Revisions in gearing and oil pump designs
  • 1951- Introduction of a hydraulically-operated cone clutch to engage the new reverse planetary gearset
  • 1952- Dual-Range Hydra-Matic that enabled two drive ranges to allow drivers to more effectively tackle hilly terrain and highway passing
  • 1952- Expansion in the production of [...]
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