KARL BENZ BIOGRAPHY
BIRTH: November 25, 1844
DEATH: April 4, 1929 (aged 84)
Karl Friedrich Benz was a German engineer and entrepreneur , who designed and built the world’s first automobile powered by an internal-combustion engine. Karl Benz was the founder of Mercedes-Benz.
Karl Benz’s real name was Karl Friedrich Michael Vaillant. He was born on 25th November, 1844 in Germany to Josephine Vaillant and Johann Georg Benz. Karl’s father worked as a locomotive driver. He lost his father at a very young age. His family was poor but Karl’s mother provided him with the best education. Karl went to a local grammar school. He was a great student and worked hard to get a good education. He followed his father’s footsteps and took an interest in automobiles. Later, he attended the
Polytechnical University, Karslruhe. In 1864, at the age of nineteen, he graduated in mechanical engineering
After he graduated, Benz started a mechanical workshop with his friend. They sold building and construction material. However, the company came out as a total failure in just one year. Benz then began to work in a bicycle repair workshop. It was working with bicycles that made him think about a mechanized vehicle. His knowledge about the bicycle came in handy. He wanted to make carriages that
did not need the help of horses for movement.
Benz was determined to make this dream come true. He developed a new and better engine for his carriers. During 1885, Benz designed many parts of his automobile. To earn more money for his family, Benz gave birth to many inventions and patented most of them. These include the ignition, spark plug, gearshift, water radiator, and clutch. He created a four- stroke engine for the carriage. The engine was
placed between the rear wheels of the carriage. He designed his automobile in such a way that many people could sit in it. Benz was the first person to use the first fully-powered gas car with two seats, one each for a driver and a passenger. In 1885, he completed his breakthrough invention. It was the very first automobile that was ready for commercial use. In 1886, he got the patent for his engine.
Benz was ready to sell his great invention. His invention changed the lives of people who wished to travel long distances. However, in the beginning, it was hard for Benz to show its benefits. People were not convinced that it was much better than the horse carriages that they used at the time. People didn’t buy Benz’s idea and found it impractical, until his wife Bertha took the first long-distance tour in it. The
goal was to build awareness in the automobile industry and change the public’s opinion. She was successful in attempting this tour. Benz’s automobile was then considered to be the safest means of transportation.
Benz kept on improving his automobile model, as it gained popularity and demand amongst people. One flaw in his earlier model was that it couldn’t be driven on high hills. Also, getting fuel for these automobiles was difficult. He added brake linings and an extra gear for the ability to drive over hills.
The World Fair held in Paris, in 1889 increased the demand for his cars. He then set up new infrastructure for building more automobiles. He first launched the ‘Benz Model 1 in 1885 and then the ‘Benz Model 2! Soon, the ‘Model 3 was also available. Benz came up with a major change in his next design and introduced the ‘Benz Velo’ model. It had four wheels instead of three.
Benz faced intense competition in 1920 from Daimler, who was the maker of the Mercedes engine. Both companies were in high demand. So, in 1924, they signed an agreement of mutual interest. It benefited both of them and saved them money due to their combined production, marketing, purchasing and advertising efforts. Soon, the two companies ventured as Daimler- Benz and created one of the most famous brands in the world: Mercedes-Benz. The decision was fruitful for both the companies. In 1927, they launched diesel trucks.
Benz and Bertha got married in 1872. They had five children. Bertha helped her husband start the business and establish the brand, which became well-known all over the world.
Benz died on April 4, 1929, at the age of 84, at his home in Germany. Benz left a great legacy after his death and made a significant contribution to the history of automobiles. He is a prime example of innovation and marketing that continues to be used in the automobile industry.