Power Steering History: From Early Innovations to Modern Marvels

Explore the history of power steering, from its humble beginnings to the advanced systems found in today’s vehicles. Discover its impact on driving ease and the automotive industry.

The History of Power Steering
Power steering history is a story of innovation gradually transforming how we interact with our automobiles. Today, we take it for granted, but it represented a significant leap forward in both comfort and vehicle accessibility.

Early Power Steering Systems
The First Attempts: Though some records point to a possible 1876 power steering system, most credit Francis W. Davis, a Pierce-Arrow engineer, with pioneering work in the 1920s. His system used engine power for assistance, but it proved too cumbersome for production vehicles of the era.
World War II Applications: The need for easier control in large military vehicles prompted further development of hydraulic power steering. Davis’s designs were instrumental here.
Chrysler’s “Hydraguide” (1951): Chrysler became the first major automaker to offer power steering as an option on a production car. Early systems were often heavy and numb in feel, but it was a start.