Gottlieb Daimler was a German inventor, industrial designer and engineer who had introduced the world to the internal-combustion engines. Born as a son of a baker, Daimler finished his primary studies in Lateinschule and expressed his interest in engineering. He did an apprenticeship with Raithel, a fire-arm maker who produced the short armed rifle, carbine. Though he completed his graduation, learning the nuances of the craft, he left gunsmithing to pursue mechanical engineering. He worked under the guidance of Ferdinand Steinbeis in ‘Stuttgart’s School for Advanced Training in the Industrial Arts’. He later moved on to ‘Stuttgart’s Polytechnic Institute’ to enhance his knowledge related to steam locomotives. For the next three decades, he worked as an engineer and also as a technical director in a number of prestigious companies. During this period, he met and collaborated with Nikolaus August Otto, and Wilhelm Maybach who later became a life-long friend. Both Maybach and Daimler wanted to create powerful high-speed engines which can be used in all kinds of locomotive devices. One of their first inventions was the early version of modern petrol engine. They partnered and set up a factory in Stuttgart for making internal combustion engines which later expanded to a car division. Read on to know more about his life and works.
- Gottileb was born on 17th of March, 1834 in Schorndorf, Germany to Johannes Daimler, who was a baker and Frederika Daimler.By the year 1847, he completed schooling from Lateinschule within a remarkably short duration of six years. Though his father wanted him to take up the job of a municipal employee, the young boy had different plans.His interest in engineering landed him an apprenticeship job with the gunsmith Raithel, upon his graduation in the year 1852, after designing two double-barrelled pistols.In the same year, at the age of 18, he decided to pursue mechanical engineering and moved on to the ‘Stuttgart’s School of Advanced Training in the Industrial Arts’.In 1853, Gottlieb was accepted to the factory college where he impressed everyone with his performance and was inducted as a foreman when the company ‘Rolle and Schwilque’ embarked on manufacture of railway locomotives.The mechanically-inclined Daimler however went on to pursue his studies in ‘Stuttgart’s Polytechnic Institute’.Career
- In 1861, when Daimler was convinced that the days of steam engine is fast approaching, he started concentrating on small low-powered engine.He became the director of ‘Maschinenbau-Gesellschaft Karlsruhe’, the locomotive and railway wagon manufacturer, in 1869.In 1872, he joined ‘Gasmotorenfabrik Deutz’, the Germany based engine manufacturer, in the position of a technical manager. Here he had a brief stint with Nikolaus Otto, the inventor of the four-stroke internal combustion engine. He also met Wilhelm Maybach, who was going to be a lifelong collaborator and friend.In mid-1882, due to fallout with the management, he moved to Cannstatt and started an experimental workshop in his garden with the help of Maybach.By the end of the year 1883, they developed the high-speed internal combustion engines, which they wanted to place in different types of locomotive devices. These engines were powered by gasoline.In 1884, they successfully invented another test engine known as the ‘grandfather clock’. This invention was a major breakthrough and the engine could be used in riding cars, the ‘Daimler motor carriage’ and even in boats.In 1885, Daimler designed the first motorcycle; he installed an engine with workable controls on a vehicle with two wheels and named it as ‘reitwagen’ or the ‘riding carriage’.In 1886, he installed the ‘Daimler-Maybach engine’ in a stagecoach which was probably the precursor of a four-wheeled vehicle.In 1889, he built the four-stroke engine which had V-slanted cylinders and valves in the shape of mushrooms. The same year, the Daimler-Maybach duo designed and manufactured the first automobile with a four-speed transmission system.In 1890, they started the famous ‘Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft’ (DMG) in partnership with Max Duttenhofer and Wilhelm Lorenz. A few disagreements with the new partners and a refusal to accept Maybach’s appointment as one of the Directors led to the departure of both Maybach and Daimler from the company.Maybach and Daimler collaborated again and built a four-cylinder engine with a spray nozzle carburettor patented by Maybach, in 1894. Also in the same year, a Daimler-powered car won the Paris-to-Rouen race. This led to the return of Maybach and Daimler to the company in the following year, which led to a boom in business of DMG.In 1896, the company produced its first truck and four years later the company manufactured the first Mercedes. This car was named after the daughter of the financer who provided the funds to Daimler.Major Work
- In 1885, Daimler patented the hugely successful internal-combustion engines. It was a practical invention, as the engine was one of the first to have a dependable self-firing ignition system.He was also responsible for manufacturing the four-wheeled automobile. In 1899, the first Mercedes car was manufactured from his own set-up, the Daimler Company.Awards & Achievements
- This famous inventor was accepted into the ‘Automotive Hall of Fame’ in 1978.Personal Life & Legacy
- Daimler was married to Emma Kunz in 1867 and had two sons Adolf and Paul. The marriage lasted for more than twenty years until Emma’s death.The renowned entrepreneur was suffering from heart disease at the end of 1880s. He went to Florence for treatment, where he met Lina Hartmann, his second wife.Daimler died in 1889 due to his failing heart condition. It is said that a rough journey through bad weather accelerated his death.His automobile company merged with ‘Benz Company’ in Germany in 1926, becoming ‘Daimler-Benz AG’, giving birth to the ‘Mercedes-Benz Automobile Company’ later.In the years between 1993 and 2008, there was a stadium named after Daimler in Stuttgart, Germany.Trivia
- This automobile engineer, who has successfully designed so many vehicles, was not very fond of driving and according to some sources he may have never driven in his life.
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