Comments Off on 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