Hemp Car TransAmerica
Mercedes Benz
  • Hemp Car Home
  • Hemp Car Manifesto
  • Contact Hemp Car
  • Download Flyers
  • Press Photos
  • Photo Gallery
  • Event Schedule
  • Route Map
  • Press
  • Hemp Car Crew
  • Energy Farming
  • Petrol vs Hemp
  • Biofuels Facts
  • Biofuels Resources
  • DEA Hemp Ban
  • Hemp and the Law
  • Hemp Quick Facts
  • Hemp: the Untold Story
  • Hemp Resources
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Rudolf Diesel
  • Henry Ford
  • George Washington
  • Thomas Jefferson

"It all started with two different ideas from two different men with two different cars. Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz each created their own companies, manufacturing their own cars. Their companies produced brilliant automobiles as rivals for about 30 years, until economic ties caused their two respectful companies to merge and create what today is the greatest automobile in the world. The history of the Daimler-Benz group began in October 1883, when Karl Benz, Max Rose and Friedrich Wilhelm Esslinger founded Benz & Co. (which became Benz & Cie. in 1899) Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik OHG in Mannheim. The first motor cars took to the road in 1886: the Benz patent motor car made its first public trip through the streets of Mannheim in July of that year and around the same time, although the two inventors were working quite separately, Gottlieb Daimler carried out trials with his first motor carriage. In 1890, Daimler founded the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) in Bad Cannstatt, near Stuttgart. America's first fully functional vehicle engine, built in Hartford, Connecticut, was designed on the basis of plans produced by Daimler. After the war, both companies were affected by the world economic crisis; it became necessary to diversify and in addition to motor vehicles, typewriters were produced in Untertürkheim and bicycles in Marienfelde. The troubled economic climate and the large number of vehicle manufacturers contending for a share of the market forced companies to form alliances. In 1924 the Daimler and Benz companies formed an association of common interest, marketing their cars under the tradename Mercedes-Benz."

Gottleib Daimler

Scientific curiosity and the roughness were the driving forces in Gottlieb Daimler's career. Born the son of a master baker on 17th March 1834 in Schorndorf, he served an apprenticeship to a gunsmith, then expanded his horizons firstly in the locomotive industry, then at the Stuttgart Polytechnic. He subsequently worked for various engineering firms in France and England. In 1865, Daimler was entrusted, as Technical Manager, with reorganising the engineering works of the Reutlingen Brotherhood. Here he became acquainted with the outstandingly talented young draughtsman and engineer, Wilhelm Maybach.This fateful meeting marked a turning point in the lives of both men. When Daimler joined the Maschinenbaugesellschaft Karlsruhe in 1869 as "Chairman of all Workshops", he arranged the very same year for Maybach to be taken on. Henceforth, Daimler and Maybach formed an inseparable team.

In 1872, Gottlieb Daimler became Technical Director of the Gasmotorenfabrik Deutz AG, founded shortly before by Nikolaus Otto and Eugen Langen. Maybach moved with him and became head of the design office. During this period, Otto developed his four-stroke engine and it was clear to Daimler that this smaller and lighter engine would prove superior to the large and unwieldy gas engines of the times.

Karl Benz

Karl Benz was born on 25th November 1844 in Karlsruhe, the son of an engine driver.The middle of the last century, when Benz was an apprentice, was a time of widespread fascination with the"new technology". The first railway line in Germany from Nuremberg to Furth had been opened in 1835, only twenty years before, and in the space of just a few decades the railways, steamships and new production processes had ushered in a new era in technology, industry and everyday life. Karl Benz attended the Karlsruhe grammar school and subsequently the Karlsruhe Polytechnic. Between 1864 and 1870, he worked for a number of different firms as a draughtsman, designer and works manager before founding his first firm in 1871 in Mannheim, with August Ritter. Little money was to be made in the building materials trade and the economic convulsions of the 1870's caused difficulties for the young company. Karl Benz now turned to the two-stroke engine, in the hope of finding a new livelihood. After two years' work, his first engine finally sprang to life on NewYear's Eve, 1879. He took out various patents on this machine.

Equally important were the contacts with new business associates, with whose assistance Benz founded a gas engine factory in Mannheim. After only a short time he withdrew from this company since it did not give him a free enough hand for his technical experiments. Benz found two new partners and with them founded "Benz & Co., Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik" in 1883 in Mannheim, a general partnership. Business was good and soon the production of industrial engines was being stepped up.

With this new financial security, Karl Benz could now set about designing a "motor carriage", with an engine based on the Otto fourstroke cycle. Unlike Daimler, who installed his engine in an ordinary carriage, Benz designed not only his engine, but the whole vehicle as well. On 29th January 1886, he was granted a patent on it and on 3rd July 1886, he introduced the first automobile in the world to an astonished public. In 1903, Karl Benz retired from active participation in his company. The next year however, he joined the supervisory board of Benz & Cie and he was a member of the supervisory board of Daimler-Benz AG from 1926, when the company was formed, until his death in 1929. In 1872, Karl Benz married Bertha Ringer, who was to be of major support to him in his work. The couple produced five children. Benz lived to witness the motoring boom and the definitive penetration of his idea in to everyday life. He died on 4th April 1929. The former Benz family residence in Ladenburg is now open to the public.

Wilhelm Maybach

In 1882, Daimler made himself independent, setting up his first workshop in Cannstatt, today part of Stuttgart.Then he arranged for Wilhelm Maybach to join him from Deutz. Henceforth, Daimler devoted his attention to the four-stroke engine, which had to be made still smaller, lighter and more efficient to increase its field of application and its suitability for mobile use. By 1883, he had taken out Patent No. 28 022 on the first small, light, high-speed combustion engine. Daimler was so successful in improving the engine that in 1885 it was installed for the first time in a"riding car" (the first motorcycle), one year later in a boat and finally, in 1886, in a carriage.

In 1890, the Daimler-Motoren Gesellschaft was founded in Cannstatt.With new,wealthy partners, engine building could now be pursued on a larger scale. By the time Gottlieb Daimler died, on 6th March 1900, he had already lived to see his engines prove themselves in practice. .

The Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft was flourishing. Gottlieb Daimler married twice. By his first wife Emma, who died in 1889, he had five children. He married his second wife, Lina, in 1893. This union produced two further children. The Daimler house in TaubenheimstraBe, Cannstatt, was destroyed in the Second World War and the site is now part of the Kurpark.The garden shed in which Daimler and Maybach developed the high-speed engine survived and is today a museum.

Mercedes Jellinek

On 16th September 1889, a third child was born to businessman Emil Jellinek in Vienna. Rachel and Emil Jellinek gave their daughter a Spanish Christian name which means"grace"and later became world-famous: Mercedes. Emil Jellinek moved his operations to Nice, taking his family with him. As Mercedes grew up, her father developed a passionate interest in automobiles,then in their infancy, and it was not long before the Daimler-Motoren Gesellschaft caught his attention. In 1893, Emil Jellinek travelled to Cannstatt and made the acquaintance of Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach. In the years which followed he bought a number of Daimler vehicles. In 1898,Jellinek ordered a Daimler Phoenix, requesting it to be delivered with a four-cylinder engine. He then drove the car in the Tour de Nice.

Since it was chic at the time to enter automobile competitions under a pseudonym, Jellinek appeared in the competitors' lists under the name Mercedes. Emil Jellinek, alias "Monsieur Mercedes",first won the Tour de Nice on 21st March 1899, when his daughter was just nine and a half years old.

In 1900, the Daimler-Motoren Gesellschaft again improved on the design, by enlarging the wheelbase, lowering the centre of gravity and increasing engine power. Emil Jellinek was so taken with this design that he put in an order for thirty-six cars, worth 550,000 gold marks. He made his order subject to two conditions: firstly he must be made sole agent in Austria-Hungary, France and America. Secondly, the vehicles must be named after his daughter, Mercedes. The name caught on so well that soon the Daimler-Motoren Gesellschaft used it for all its cars and in 1902, a trademark was taken out. The "Mercedes" era had begun.

  1. Mercedes Benz History Page
Go Baby!