From AutoCult's website:
What we know as "fluid mechanics" had its beginnings in the early 20th century in the Lower Saxony village of Gottingen. The mathematician Felix Klein began studying air flow as a fluid and how it acted upon shaped bodies. The true pioneers however, were working in the aviation field seeking new ways to reduce drag and increase speed in aircraft designs. By the 1930's, Schlor, Paul Jaray, and Wunibald Kamm became leading advocates of streamlined body shapes in automotive use. These engineers and their associates were experimenting with methods of reduced airflow and were influenced by progress in the aviation industry. Much of this work helped to shape motor vehicles of all types. The Kamm tail represented a large step forward. By the late 1930s, "streamline moderne" techniques popularized streamlined body shapes with long bodies and tapered rear sections to form a more aerodynamic shape. In the United States, "art deco" was very popular and the streamlined form became fashionable in every type of object from railroad locomotives and vehicles to household appliances.
Initially, the efforts to produce streamlined body shapes were designed to optimize performance and overall speed, but, in recent years, the focus has changed to reduced fuel consumption. The influence of streamlining produced beautiful and "quirky" designs; some were classics; some were simply unusual!!
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