Gottlieb Daimler

Automotive pioneer, Engineer, industrial designer and industrialist Gottlieb Daimler sadly died 6 March 1900. He was born March 17th 1834 in Schorndorf (Kingdom of Württemberg, a federal state of the German Confederation), in what is now Germany. He was a pioneer of internal-combustion engines and automobile development. He invented the high-speed petrol engine and the first four-wheel automobile. Daimler and his lifelong business partner Wilhelm Maybach were two inventors whose goal was to create small, high-speed engines to be mounted in any kind of locomotion development.

in 1872 (at age 38), Daimler and Maybach moved to work at the world’s largest manufacturer of stationary engines at the time, the Deutz-AG-Gasmotorenfabrik in Cologne. It was half-owned by Nikolaus Otto, who was looking for a new technical director. As directors, both Daimler and Otto focused on gas-engine development while Maybach was chief designer. In 1876, Otto invented the four-stroke engine cycle, also known as the Otto Cycle, which featured four piston strokes (intake, compression, power, and exhaust). Otto intended that his invention would replace the steam engines predominant in those years, even though his engine was still primitive and inefficient. Otto’s engine was patented in 1877. However the patent was soon challenged and overturned. For Unbeknownst to Otto, Daimler, and Maybach,  Karl Benz was also concentrating all his efforts on creating a reliable two-stroke gas engine in Mannheim, based on the same principle, and he finished his engine before Otto on December 31, 1878, and was granted a patent for his engine in 1879.

Sadly serious personal differences arose between Daimler and Otto, reportedly with Otto being jealous of Daimler, because of his university background and knowledge. Daimler was fired in 1880, receiving 112 goldmarks in Deutz-AG shares in compensation for the patents of both Daimler and Maybach. Maybach resigned later. After leaving Deutz-AG, Daimler and Maybach moved back to Stuttgart in southern Germany, purchasing a cottage in Cannstatt’s Taubenheimstrasse, with 75,000 goldmarks from the compensation from Deutz-AG. In the garden, they added a brick extension to the roomy glass-fronted summer house and this became their workshop. Their activities alarmed the neighbors who reported them to the police as suspected counterfeiters. The police obtained a key from the gardener and raided the house in their absence, but found only engines. Daimler and Maybach spent long hours debating how best to fuel Otto’s four-stroke design, and turned to a byproduct of petroleum. The main distillates of petroleum at the time were lubricating oil, kerosene (burned as lamp fuel), and benzine, which up to then was used mainly as a cleaner and was sold in pharmacies.

In 1885 Daimler and Maybach developed the first of their petrol engines, which featured: a single horizontal cylinder of 264 cc (16 cu in) 58×100 mm, 2.28×3.94 in aircooling large cast iron flywheel surface carburretor hot tube ignition system, cam operated exhaust valves, allowing high speed operation 0.5 hp (370 W) with a higher running speed,than previous engines, which typically ran at about 120 to 180 rpm weight of around 50 kg (110 lb) In 1885, they created a carburetor which mixed gasoline with air allowing its use as fuel. In the same year Daimler and Maybach assembled a larger version of their engine, still relatively compact, but now with a vertical cylinder of 100 cc displacement and an output of 1 hp at 600 rpm (patent DRP-28-022: “non-cooled, heat insulated engine with unregulated hot-tube ignition”). It was baptized the Standuhr (“grandfather clock”), because Daimler thought it resembled an old pendulum clock. In November 1885, Daimler installed a smaller version of this engine in a wooden two wheeler frame with two outrigger wheels, creating the first internal combustion motorcycle it was named the Reitwagen (riding car). Maybach rode it for three kilometers (two miles) alongside the river Neckar, from Cannstatt to Untertürkheim, reaching 12 kilometres per hour (7 mph).

unbeknownst to Maybach and Daimler, Karl Benz was building the first true automobile in Mannheim, which used an integral design for a motorized vehicle with one of his own engines He was granted a patent for his motorwagen on January 29, 1886. On March 8, 1886, Daimler and Maybach secretly brought a stagecoach made by Wilhelm Wafter into the house, telling the neighbors it was a birthday gift for Mrs. Daimler. Maybach supervised the installation of a larger 1.1 hp version of the Grandfather Clock engine into this stagecoach and it became the first four-wheeled vehicle to reach 16 kilometres per hour (10 mph). The engine power was transmitted by a set of belts. As with the motorcycle, it was tested on the road to Untertürkheim where nowadays the Mercedes-Benz Arena, formerly called the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion, is situated. Driven by Daimler’s desire to use the engine as many ways as possible, Daimler and Maybach used the engine in other types of transport including: on water (1886), by mounting it in a 4.5 metres (15 ft) long boat and achieving a speed of 6 knots (11 km/h; 6.9 mph). The boat was called Neckar after the river where it was tested. This was the world’s first motorboat and boat engines soon became Daimler’s main product. The first customers expressed fear the petrol engine could explode, so Daimler hid the engine with a ceramic cover and told them it was “oil-electrical” like street-cars and trolleys. Daimler’s engine was also used to power a balloon, this is usually regarded as the first airship, and replaced a hand-operated engine designed by Dr. Friedrich Hermann Wölfert of Leipzig. With the new engine, Daimler successfully flew over Seelberg on August 10, 1888.

They sold their first foreign licenses for engines in 1887 and Maybach went as their representative to the 1889 Paris Exposition to show their achievements which included the first steel Wheel Automobile 1889 · high speed four-stroke petrol engine · fuel vaporization · 2 cylinders V-configured · mushroom shaped valves · water-cooled · 4 speed toothed gearbox · pioneer axle-pivot steering system Engine sales increased, mostly for use in boats, and in June 1887, Daimler bought another property at Seelberg hill, Cannstatt. It was located some distance from the town on Ludwigstraße 67 because Cannstatt’s mayor did not approve of the workshop. Built at a cost 30,200 goldmarks, the new premises had room for 23 employees. Daimler managed the commercial issues while Maybach ran the engine design department. In 1889, Daimler and Maybach built the Stahlradwagen, their first automobile that did not involve adapting a horse-drawn carriage with their engine, but which was somewhat influenced by bicycle designs. There was no production in Germany, but it was licensed to be built in France and presented to the public in Paris in October 1889 by both engineers. The same year, Daimler’s wife, Emma Kunz, died.

With demand for engines growing, for uses in everything from motorboats to railcars, Maybach and Daimler expanded. With funding from gunpowder maker Max Duttenhofer, industrialist Wilhelm Lorenz, and banker Kilian von Steiner, Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft was founded 28 November 1890, with Maybach as chief designer. Its purpose was the construction of small, high-speed engines for use on land, water, and air transport. The three uses were expressed by Daimler in a sketch that became the basis for a logo with a three-pointed star. Many German historians consider this Daimler’s “pact with the devil”. DMG expanded, but it changed. The newcomers, not believing in automobile production, ordered the creation of additional stationary building capacity, and considered merging DMG with Otto’s Deutz-AG. Daimler and Maybach preferred plans to produce automobiles and reacted against Duttenhofer and Lorenz. Maybach was denied a seat on the board and on February 11, 1891, he left the business. He continued his design work as a freelance in Cannstatt from his own house, with Daimler’s support, moving to the closed Hermann Hotel in the autumn of 1892. He used its ballroom and winter garden as workshops, employing twelve workers and five apprentices. The new company developed the high-speed inline-two Phönix, for which Maybach invented a spray carburettor, a needless innovation given it still relied on hot tube ignition. This was fitted in a singularly ugly car, which entered production after a cessation of hostilities between Daimler, Maybach, and the DMG board.

in 1890, they founded Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG, in English—Daimler Motors Corporation). They sold their first automobile in 1892. However Daimler fell ill and took a break from the business. Upon his return he experienced difficulty with the other stockholders and resigned in 1893. He returned in 1894. Maybach resigned at the same time, and also returned. However Following Daimler’s death a few years later in 1900 and the final departure of Wilhelm Maybach in 1907 the DMG management signed a long term co-operation agreement with Karl Benz’s Benz & Cie. and in 1926 the two companies merged to become Daimler-Benz AG, which is now part of Daimler AG.

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