Karl Benz


Karl Benz

Karl Friedrich Benz  (November 25, 1844 – April 4, 1929) was a German engine designer and car engineer, generally regarded as the inventor of the first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine, and together with Bertha Benz, pioneering founder of the automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. Other German contemporaries, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybachworking as partners, also worked on similar types of inventions, without knowledge of the work of the other, but Benz received apatent for his work first, and, subsequently patented all the processes that made the internal combustion engine feasible for use in an automobile. In 1879, his first engine patent was granted to him, and in 1886, Benz was granted a patent for his first automobile.

Karl Benz was born Karl Friedrich Michael Vaillant, on November 25, 1844 in Mühlburg, now a borough of Karlsruhe, Baden, which is part of modern Germany, to Josephine Vaillant and a locomotive driver, Johann George Benz, whom she married a few months later. According to German law, the child acquired the Name “Benz” by legal marriage of his parents Benz and Vaillant. When he was two years old, his father was killed, his name was changed to Karl Friedrich Benz in remembrance of his father.

Despite living in near poverty, his mother strove to give him a good education. Benz attended the local Grammar School in Karlsruhe and was a prodigious student. In 1853, at the age of nine he started at the scientifically oriented Lyceum. Next he studied at the Poly-Technical University under the instruction of Ferdinand Redtenbacher.

Benz had originally focused his studies on locksmithing, but eventually followed his father’s steps toward locomotive engineering. On September 30, 1860, at age fifteen, he passed the entrance exam for mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe, which he subsequently attended. Benz was graduated July 9, 1864 at nineteen.

During these years, while riding his bicycle, he started to envision concepts for a vehicle that would eventually become the horseless carriage.

Following his formal education, Benz had seven years of professional training in several companies, but did not fit well in any of them. The trainingstarted in Karlsruhe with two years of varied jobs in a mechanical engineering company.

He then moved to Mannheim to work as a draftsman and designer in a scales factory. In 1868 he went to Pforzheim to work for a bridge building company Gebrüder Benckiser Eisenwerke und Maschinenfabrik. Finally, he went to Vienna for a short period to work at an iron construction company.

Read more at Wikipedia


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