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Karl Benz (Carl Benz)
In 1885, German mechanical engineer, Karl Benz designed and built the world's first practical automobile to be powered by an internal-combustion engine. On January 29, 1886, Benz received the first patent (DRP No. 37435) for a gas-fueled car. It was a three-wheeler; Benz built his first four-wheeled car in 1891. Benz & Company, the company started by the inventor, became the world's largest manufacturer of automobiles by 1900.
Karl Friedrich Benz was born in 1844 in Baden Muehlburg, Germany (now part of Karlsruhe). He was the son of an engine driver. Benz attended the Karlsruhe grammar school and later the Karlsruhe Polytechnic University. In 1871, He founded his first company with partner August Ritter, the "Iron Foundry and Machine Shop" a supplier of building materials.
Benz began his work on a two-stroke engine, in hopes of finding a new income. He received his first patent in 1879. In 1883, he founded Benz & Company to produce industrial engines in Mannheim, Germany. He then began designing a "motor carriage", with a four-stroke engine (based on Nicolaus Otto's patent). Benz designed his engine (958cc, 0.75hp) and the body for the three-wheel vehicle with an electric ignition, differential gears, and water-cooling. The car was first driven in Mannheim in 1885. On January 29, 1886, he was granted a patent for his gas-fueled automobile (DRP 37435) and in July, he began selling his automobile to the public.
In 1893, the Benz Velo became the world's first inexpensive, mass-produced car.
In 1903, Karl Benz retired from Benz & Company; his designs were already outdated by Gottlieb Daimler. He served as a member of the supervisory board of Daimler-Benz AG from 1926, when the company was formed, until his death.
He married Bertha Ringer in 1872, who played an active role in his business, together they had five children. Karl Benz passed away in 1929.
Often accepted as the inventor of the motorcar, Karl Benz first unveiled his Benz 3-wheeler in 1885 at Mannheim. (Germany)
A genius whose three-wheeler is seen as the first car.