Marcus, Siegfried

Marcus, Siegfried
b. 18 September 1831 Malchin, Mecklenburg
d. 30 June 1898 Vienna, Austria
German inventor, builder of the world's first self-propelled vehicle driven by an internal combustion engine.
Marcus was apprenticed as a mechanic and was employed in the newly founded enterprise of Siemens \& Halske in Berlin. He then went to Vienna and, from 1853, was employed in the workshop of the Imperial Court Mechanic, Kraft, and in the same year he was a mechanic in the Royal and Imperial Institute of Physics of the University of Vienna. In 1860 he became independent of the Imperial Court, but he installed an electrical bell system for the Empress Elizabeth and instructed the Crown Prince Rudolf in natural science.
Marcus was granted thirty-eight patents in Austria, as well as many foreign patents. The magnetic electric ignition engine, for which he was granted a patent in 1864, brought him the biggest financial reward; it was introduced as the "Viennese Ignition" engine by the Austrian Navy and the pioneers of the Prussian and Russian armies. The engine was exhibited at the World Fair in Paris in 1867 together with the "Thermoscale" which was also constructed by Marcus; this was a magnetic/electric rotative engine for electric lighting and field telegraphy.
Marcus's reputation is due mainly to his attempts to build a new internal combustion engine. By 1870 he had assembled a simple, direct-working internal combustion engine on a primitive chassis. This was, in fact, the first petrol-engined vehicle with electric ignition, and tradition records that when Marcus drove the vehicle in the streets of Vienna it made so much noise that the police asked him to remove it; this he did and did not persist with his experiments. Thus ended the trials of the world's first petrol-engined vehicle; it was running in 1875, ten years before Daimler and Benz were carrying out their early trials in Stuttgart.
Further Reading
Austrian Dictionary of National Biography.

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

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