Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler was born March 17, 1834 in the Kingdom of Württemburg. Gottlieb was a German inventor and engineer who made significant contributions to the Automotive Industry.
Gottlieb Daimler was a man of the frontier, stretching in every sense beyond boundaries. His family had lived in the village of Schorndorf for nearly two centuries. For four generations the family had been very good bakers. Gottlieb’s father, Johannes, owned a bakery and a wine shop. His uncle, Heinrich, was Schorndorf’s chief architect. As you can see the Daimler family was an important part in the village’s history.
Gottlieb had a pleasant and uneventful childhood. He was very talented in math and a civil service career was planned for him until the Revolutions of 1848, when his father decided apprenticeship to a local carbine manufacturer would make a better lifestyle for his son in the future. Gottlieb finished the apprenticeship, but he didn’t like making guns.
At age 18, he moved to Stuttgart and met Ferdi Steinbeis, a civil official that helped Gottlieb. Ferdi helped Gottlieb by getting him a job building railway cars. When he was 22 he was offered a position as a foreman. But Gottlieb thought he didn’t have the right amount of training for that position.
He then took a leave of absence to study at Stuttgart Polytechnikium. While he was at Stuttgart he built a solid engineering background. He owes much of his success to Steinbeis and the government-sponsored programs arranged for him to study. Gottlieb didn’t know right away what type of engineering he wanted to specialize.
By 1860,Gottlieb had completed all of his studies in Stuttgart and returned to his job, which he did not want to do anymore. While his studies increased his background on many power sources,he came upon the conclusion that steam power was too limiting. He then decided he wanted to build an engine. He asked that his job be changed from locomotive foreman to experimental engineer.
His boss refused to do so. So Gottlieb took matters into his own hands and decided to leave in the summer of 1861. He was unsure where he was going to go until, his former boss Steinbeis suggested Paris and provided him with enough money to get there and stay there long to explore an internal combustion engine.
While in Paris, Gottlieb came upon two conclusions about the Lenoir engine. First, it was so protected that no one else could experiment with the engine to make it better. Second, he really wasn’t even impressed with it at all. After researching into the Lenior engine he was offered a job in a small saw-making factory, but he decided not to take it. He then contacted Steinbeis and told him he needed more money to go to England. Steinbeis agreed to it and sent Gottlieb some more money.
While in England all he really saw were steam engines. But he did see progress and was impressed. He traveled everywhere and whenever he needed money he got a factory job until he had enough. In 1862 he visited the International Exhibition in London.
After traveling for awhile, Gottlieb realized he was homesick and wanted to go home. He returned to Württemburg in the spring of 1863, he then went to work as a hardware designer for the father of a school friend. He got bored with this job real quick and decided he wanted to start his own company, where they would build tools which like the ones he saw in England. His father and his family would not finance him so he turned to Steinbeis for advice once again. In December 1863, Daimler took over the management of Bruderhaus Reutlingge, near Stuttgart.
In 1867, Gottlieb married Emma Kurz of Maulbronn. They married when he was 33, and Emma was 24. Gottlieb also met Wilhelm Maybach. He had been in apprenticeship in the drafting room of the engineering works. Gottlieb recognized that Wilherm was very talented and that he could use him, so he offered Wilhelm a job. In 1869 Gottlieb’s first son, Paul, was born; a second son, Adolf, followed two years later. All together they had five children. Gottlieb was also managing the Karlsruhe factories at the time.
Now lets jump ahead and get on to Gottlieb’s achievements. In 1885, he constructed and patented the first high-speed internal-combustion engine, which was lighter and more efficient than the low-speed engines of that time. He also developed a carburetor that made possible the use of gasoline as fuel. He was the first to have the idea of using petroleum as fuel. Daimler then met up with Carl Benz to build an empire of cars.
In 1886, Gottlieb developed a motorized carriage that reached up to a speed of 18 km/h. When Daimler first requested approval from the police to drive his car on the road, they refused. At the end of 1886 Benz and Daimler were ready to ‘motorize the world.’
Gottlieb met Sarazin and became good friends with him. Sarazin handled Gottlieb’s legal matters in Paris and was one of the first visitors to Daimler’s greenhouse-workshop in Cannstatt. In October1886, after taking out the first French patent on Gottlieb’s new high-speed engine, Sarazin began considering where it might be manufactured. Amazed by Gottlieb’s engine, Levassor agreed to produce the few examples necessary to protect the French patent.
On Christmas night, 1887, Sarazin died. On January 4, upon learning of Sarazin’s death, Gottlieb wrote in his window a long letter which expressed his shock. Daimler and Maybach discussed what was the best thing to do, so they started production on prototypes. By the summer of 1888 Daimler and Maybach had motorized three trolley cars for Baden-Baden, Stuttgart and Cannstatt, installed another engine in a horse-drawn wagon to pump water at a fire-fighting exhibition in Hanover, and fitted an engine to a dirigible balloon, which flew for a short distance on August 12.
A few weeks and some legal work later, Gottlieb of Canstatt, State of Wuttemberg, Empire of Germany, empowered William Steinway of New York to create the Daimler Motor Company in the United States.
Daimler’s and Benz’s idea that internal combustion engines could replace the horse as well logical, but so new it was considered bizarre or dangerous in many places. William Steinway saw little hope in for the automobile, but believed the Daimler engine had exciting possibilities. They started working on putting the engines on boats and street cars.
By the end of 1888, with the Daimler Motor Company a reality in New York, Gottlieb engineers were in touch with Paris, where the following year France was to celebrate the world’s biggest fair. Daimler and Maybach were determined to be there with every possible example of their own progress including, their new car. I think they were be very popular with the audiences at the fair.
After the fair, Maybach and Daimler left their car there, so others could look at it, in a shopping area. When they got back, they started building and designing a four-cylinder engine, which later they installed on a boat. After getting tired of working on engines that would be installed to automobiles and boats they decided to move on. Using a balloon that was earlier designed by Karl Wölfert, Daimler installed a single-cylinder two horse-power engine with a transmission on it, which enabled it to go up and down. He installed propellers that were attached to the balloons ‘gondola’. In august 1888 a successful flight was done near Daimler’s shop.
Okay, lets jump ahead to the nineteenth century because there is just so much information. I’ll summarize in a few sentences what I jumped over. Daimler and a few others started mass producing the cars after a very big demand for them. They also made a nice sized profit in selling engines to marines where they were priced for about $300 to $725. One day there was a 75 mile race to test out a few different cars, to see what is the best one.
Now that we are kind of caught up to speed, we’ll get on to talking about Gottlieb’s health and the start of the car empire, Mercedes Benz. As Daimlers health got worse and worse as time past, he was unable to go to his lab and work on cars. While Gottlieb was home, his heart condition had worsened. Since 1896 his doctors has told him to be confined to bed for extended periods. They also said, any stress put on his body may be fatal. By the end 1899, Carl Benz had built 2,000 cars and was the world’s largest automobile maker. In 1899, Gottlieb made his last appearance when he collapsed and fell from a car.
As you already knew, Daimler had founded the Daimler Motor Company in 1890, which later became Daimler-Benz and Company. That’s when the generic name of ‘Benz’ was beginning to pop up in car names.
Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler died on March 6, 1900.
In conclusion I think Daimler was a very important part in producing that automotive industry, which we take for granted nowadays.