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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

125th anniversary of automobile

It is 125th anniversary of automobile this year. Though a number of attempts were made to make a motorcar since 1672, Karl Benz made the first automobile with a four-stroke internal combustion engine in 1885; he got the patent in January of 1886. Therefore Karl Benz is considered the inventor of the modern automobile. His company Benz & Cie was selling cars by 1888. 

From 1886 to 1893 Karl Benz had sold 25 vehicles. Interestingly, automobile was more popular in France than Germany. Emile Rogers in France produced Benz engines under license and sold more then Benz himself did in Germany.
Karl Benz
Patent for Benz Motorwagen
Karl Benz driving the first automobile
First ever road trip in a motorcar was made by Karl's wife Bertha Benz, in August 1888 to prove the road-worthiness of the automobile. In 1896 Benz designed and patented the first internal-combustion flat engine. By the last years of 19th century Benz & Cie was the largest automobile company in the world producing 572 units in 1899. The same year it became a joint stock company.
Bertha Benz
In 1890 close by Daimler and Maybach founded Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG). In 1900 after the death of Daimler, Maybach designed an engine named after DMG board member, Emil Jellineck's daughter Mercedes.
Gottlieb Daimler
W. Maybach
1n 1902 the first car was named Mercedes, that had a 35hp engine. In 1926 Benz & Cie and DMG merged o become Daimler-Benz.
1894 Karl and others in front of Benz factory
Initial Benz logo
Replica of patent wagon
Benz patent moterwagen advertisement
Emile Levassor and Armand Peugeot started building with Daimler engines, in France, laying the foundation of automotive industry in France.
1905 Mercedes Paris advertisement
Britain had first production automobiles with Daimler engines, at a company founded by Harry J. Lawson. The company was named Daimler Motor Company, after Lanchester purchased the right to use the name of engine.
1897 Daimler
In USA, the 1st design for an internal-combustion engine was made in 1877 by George Selden of Rochester New York. His patent application expired since he never built the car. Selden got a patent in 1895 but it was challenged by Henry Ford and some others, and got overturned in 1911.
Ransom Olds at his Oldsmobile factory started first large-scale production of affordable motorcar in 1902. Later Henry Ford expanded this technique in 1914.
Ransom E. Olds
1902 Oldsmobile Model R
(Part 2, next post).

Cedits: Daimler AG, wikipedia, google, etc

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