Benz, Karl

Benz, Karl
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b. 25 November 1844 Pfaffenrot, Black Forest, Germany
d. 4 April 1929 Ladenburg, near Mannheim, Germany
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German inventor of one of the first motor cars.
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The son of a railway mechanic, it is said that as a child one of his hobbies was the repair of Black Forest clocks. He trained as a mechanical engineer at the Karlsruhe Lyzeum and Polytechnikum under Ferdinand Redtenbacher (d. 1863), who pointed out to him the need for a more portable power source than the steam engine. He went to Maschinenbau Gesellschaft Karlsruhe for workshop experience and then joined Schweizer \& Cie, Mannheim, for two years. In 1868 he went to the Benkiser Brothers at Pforzheim. In 1871 he set up a small machine-tool works at Mannheim, but in 1877, in financial difficulties, he turned to the idea of an entirely new product based on the internal-combustion engine. At this time, N.A. Otto held the patent for the four-stroke internal-combustion engine, so Benz had to put his hopes on a two-stroke design. He avoided the trouble with Dugald Clerk's engine and designed one in which the fuel would not ignite in the pump and in which the cylinder was swept with fresh air between each two firing strokes. His first car had a sparking plug and coil ignition. By 1879 he had developed the engine to a stage where it would run satisfactorily with little attention. On 31 December 1879, with his wife Bertha working the treadle of her sewing machine to charge the batteries, he demonstrated his engine in street trials in Mannheim. In the summer of 1888, unknown to her husband, Bertha drove one of his cars the 80 km (50 miles) to Pforzheim and back with her two sons, aged 13 and 15. She and the elder boy pushed the car up hills while the younger one steered. They bought petrol from an apothecary in Wiesloch and had a brake block repaired in Bauschlott by the village cobbler. Karl Benz's comments on her return from this venture are not recorded! Financial problems prevented immediate commercial production of the automobile, but in 1882 Benz set up the Gasmotorenfabrik Mannheim. After trouble with some of his partners, he left in 1883 and formed a new company, Benz \& Cie, Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik. Otto's patent was revoked in 1886 and in that year Benz patented a motor car with a gas engine drive. He manufactured a 0.8hp car, the engine running at 250 rpm with a horizontal flywheel, exhibited at the Paris Fair in 1889. He was not successful in finding anyone in France who would undertake manufacture. This first car was a three-wheeler, and soon after he produced a four-wheeled car, but he quarrelled with his co-directors, and although he left the board in 1902 he rejoined it soon after.
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Further Reading
St J.Nixon, 1936, The Invention of the Automobile. E.Diesel et al., 1960, From Engines to Autos. E.Johnson, 1986, The Dawn of Motoring.
IMcN

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • Benz, Karl — ▪ German engineer in full  Karl Friedrich Benz  born Nov. 25, 1844, Karlsruhe, Baden [Germany] died April 4, 1929, Ladenburg, near Mannheim, Ger.  German mechanical engineer who designed and in 1885 built the world s first practical automobile to …   Universalium

  • Benz, Karl — ► (1844 1929) Ingeniero alemán. Fue uno de los creadores de la industria del automóvil. Fundó las empresas automovilísticas Benz & Cie (1883) y Benz Söhne (1905) y construyó un motor de dos tiempos (1879) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Benz,Karl Friedrich — Benz (bĕnts), Karl Friedrich. 1844 1929. German automobile pioneer credited with manufacturing the first vehicle powered with an internal combustion engine, patented in 1886. * * * …   Universalium

  • Benz, Karl (Friedrich) — born Nov. 25, 1844, Karlsruhe, Baden died April 4, 1929, Ladenburg, Ger. German mechanical engineer who designed and built the first practical automobile powered by an internal combustion engine. The original car, his three wheeled Motorwagen,… …   Universalium

  • Benz, Karl (Friedrich) — (25 nov. 1844, Karlsruhe, Baden–4 abr. 1929, Ladenburg, Alemania). Ingeniero mecánico alemán que diseñó el primer automóvil práctico propulsado por un motor de combustión interna. El vehículo original, su Motorwagen de tres ruedas, anduvo por… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Benz — Benz, Karl …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Karl Friedrich Benz — Karl Benz. Vehículo Benz de 1885. Karl Friedrich Benz (25 de noviembre de 1844, Karlsruh …   Wikipedia Español

  • Benz — AmE an informal name for a Mercedes Benz car →↑Merc Benz 2 Benz, Karl (1844 1929) a German engineer who built the first petrol driven car in 1885. His factory later joined with one started by Gottlieb Daimler, and became the Mercedes Benz car… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Benz — Benz, Karl, Ingenieur, geb. 26. Nov. 1844 in Karlsruhe, studierte an der dortigen technischen Hochschule, gründete 1872 in Mannheim eine eigne Werkstätte und baute 1880 einen Zweitaktmotor, den er in einen Wagen einbauen wollte. 1883 gründete er… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Benz & Cie, Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik — Carl Benz Carl Friedrich Benz (Karl Friedrich Michael Benz) (* 25. November 1844 in Mühlburg (Karlsruhe); † 4. April 1929 in Ladenburg) war ein deutscher Ingenieur und Automobilpionier. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Karl Benz — Carl Benz Carl Friedrich Benz (Karl Friedrich Michael Benz) (* 25. November 1844 in Mühlburg (Karlsruhe); † 4. April 1929 in Ladenburg) war ein deutscher Ingenieur und Automobilpionier. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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