Who is “Benz” in Mercedes-Benz: Karl Benz

Who is “Benz” in Mercedes-Benz: Karl Benz

Karl Benz was the founder and owner of Benz & Cie.

Early Life of Karl Benz

Karl Benz was born in Muhlburg, Germany in the year of 1844. It was only two years after his birth that his father died of pnuemonia and Karl Benz was forced to grow up without luxuries in life. Karl Benz proved to be an elite student and due to this, his mother made sure that he had a proper education.

Karl Benz’s First Company

Karl Benz studied mechanical engineering at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. After graduation, Benz worked several jobs until 1871 when he founded his first factory along with August Ritter titled the Iron Foundry and Mechanical Workshop in Mannheim, Germany. Benz had difficulty with his partner so his fiancee purchased Ritter’s share of the company.

Benz was able to make advancements in engine-building but he still had business difficulties. Due to this, Benz decided to focus on developing new patents. In 1879, Karl Benz was granted a patent for a two-stroke engine. This was followed by other important patents filed by Karl Benz including the spark plug, water radiator, gear shift, clutch, and speed regulation system.

In 1883 Karl Benz left his position at his company due to an agreement made in the previous year. In 1882, Benz was in need of financial support and by taking on partners he was able to keep the company afloat but was able to retain 5% of his company which made him unhappy.

The Founding of Benz & Cie

In 1883, Karl Benz founded a new company along with Max Rose and Freidrich WIlhelm Eblinger. This company was titled Benz & Companie Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik. Benz & Companie Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik is often referred to as Benz & Cie. It was here that Benz created the Benz Patent Mobile in 1885, which is considered the first practical automobile.

Several other models were released in the following years, including the first buses and the first trucks with internal combustion engines. In 1896, Karl Benz invented the first flat engine.

Karl Benz: Work Outside of Benz & Cie

In 1903, Benz decided to retire from design and became a director of Benz & Cie. He remained a director through the time of the merger with Daimler in 1926 and until the time of his death in 1929.

During his time as a director of Benz & Cie, Karl Benz founded a new company named C. Benz Sohne along with his son, Eugen Benz.

The Legend of Karl Benz

Karl Benz was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame and the European Hall of Fame. There is also a movie about the life of Karl Benz as well as his wife, Bertha Benz titled “Carl & Bertha”.


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