Born March 17 1834 - Died March 6 1900
Improvement in Gas-Motor Engines
Patent No. 141,987
In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler, with the help of Wilhelm Maybach, developed the forerunner of the modern gas engine by advancing Nicolaus Otto’s oil-powered design. Adapting the engine to a stagecoach, Daimler successfully designed the world’s first four-wheeled automobile.
After earning a mechanical engineering degree from Stuttgart Polytechnic, Daimler pursued the need for a small, practical, low-powered engine. Frenchman Etienne Lenoir had designed an early model of a smaller engine, but it lacked efficiency. Noting Lenoir’s pioneering concepts, Daimler and Maybach spent ten years developing a practical gasoline-powered engine. With their new engine as the focal point, they applied their ideas to vehicles, developing and patenting a self-firing ignition starter. In 1885, the first gasoline-powered internal combustion engine was fitted onto a motorcycle.
Daimler and Maybach continued to improve gasoline-powered engines, inventing the first V-shaped, two-cylinder, four-stroke engine. That engine was the foundation for today’s automobile engines. Daimler founded the Daimler Motoren-Gesellschaft in 1890 to build engines according to his designs.
In 1998, the Daimler and Chrysler companies merged, forming DaimlerChrysler, one of the world’s leading car manufacturers.
Daimler was born in Schorndorf near Stuttgart in present day Germany. Daimler studied for six years at Lateinschule where he first expressed an interest in engineering. After a year of studying gunsmithing, Daimler left to study mechanical engineering at Stuttgart Polytechnic. He worked for numerous firms before landing at Deutz, which was the largest manufacturer of stationary engines in the world. Daimler died in 1900 at the age of sixty-six.