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A brief history of the van

Many people would agree that the commercial van is the backbone of the British economy. Vans keep everything ticking along with transporting all manner of freight between destinations, and by providing a means of transportation to hundreds of thousands of people who need space and practicality. Vans to do their job – think builders, caterers, removal companies and many other businesses relying on vans.

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The word van is a shortened version of ‘caravan,’ and it was first used in the early 1800s to describe a ‘covered wagon’. The Century Dictionary shows that the caravan in this sense may be regarded as ‘carry-van’ – in terms of the transportation of cargo just like our modern-day vans. For Van Hire Southend on Sea, visit a site like Steves Self Drive, top suppliers of Van Hire Southend on Sea.

1896: A milestone in the history of van

It was in 1896 that two innovative individuals began a vital first step in the history of motor transport. This is the year of the first motorized truck in the world – made by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft – and delivered to customers in London.

The vehicle featured two cylinders and delivered a top speed of 7mph with a payload capacity of 1,500 kg.

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Also in 1896, Karl Benz designed a van-like vehicle, constructed onto a motorised carriage’s chassis. The vehicle helped to deliver goods to a Parisian department store.

It was not really until the 1950s and 60s when the big-name manufacturers began to design, develop and release the models that we know today – many of which are still in production.

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