• Rich Honiball

Today In Brand History: Mercedes-Benz (kind of)



In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler, a German engineer, industrial designer and industrialist, received a German patent for the world's first motorcycle. Built from wood, it was powered by a 4-cycle 1-cylinder engine that produced 0.5 hp.


Daimler did more than just design the world's first motorcycle. Daimler and his lifelong business partner Wilhelm Maybach (sound familiar) had a goal to create small, high-speed engines to be mounted in any kind of locomotion device.


In 1883, Daimler and Maybach designed a horizontal cylinder compressed charge liquid petroleum engine that fulfilled Daimler's desire for a high speed engine which could be throttled.


Independently of each other, Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler each produced an automobile in 1886, both in Germany, about 60 miles away from each other. Daimler ended up suing Benz for violating his 1883 patent on hot tube ignition. Daimler won and Benz had to pay royalties to DMG.


In 1890, Daimler and Maybach started Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (Daimler Motors Corporation), selling their first automobile in 1892. Daimler and Benz did both attend the founding of the Central European Motor Car Association but never spoke. Daimler. Daimler died in 1900, and in 1907 Maybach resigned from DMG.


After many years of cooperation, in 1926 representatives of DMG and Benz & Cie signed the agreement for the merger of the two oldest automobile manufacturers in the world. The resulting new company was named Daimler-Benz AG, eventually becoming Mercedes-Benz Group. Gottlieb Daimler's motto, "Das Beste oder nichts" ("The best or nothing at all") was adopted by Mercedes-Benz as their slogan in 2010

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