Patent-Motorwagen (Karl Benz, 1886)

Patent-Motorwagen (Karl Benz, 1886)

The Benz Patent-Motorwagen is widely regarded as the first vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine.

Technology

Keywords

Patent-Motorwagen, car, automobile, engine, internal combustion engine, Germany, Karl Benz, German, four-stroke, Mercedes, automobile factory, car manufacturing, invention, inventor, technology

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Questions

  • Is it true that the vehicle had steel wire-spoked wheels with solid rubber tires?

Scenes

  • - The steel wire spokes and the solid rubber tires were developed by Karl Benz himself.
  • - It had three positions. If it was pushed forward, the vehicle started to move. When pulled backward, it functioned as a brake, and in a neutral position the vehicle remained stationary.

  • carburetor

  • - The steel wire spokes and the solid rubber tires were developed by Karl Benz himself.
  • - It had three positions. If it was pushed forward, the vehicle started to move. When pulled backward, it functioned as a brake, and in a neutral position the vehicle remained stationary.
  • carburetor

Narration

German engine designer, engineer and inventor Karl Benz is known for building the first automobile propelled by an internal combustion engine and for being the co-founder of the automobile manufacturer Daimler-Benz AG.

Benz applied for the German patent for the vehicle on January 29, 1886 and unveiled it to the public in Mannheim on July 6, 1886.

With his three-wheeled automobile, Benz introduced several innovations that he himself had developed. These included steel wire-spoked wheels with solid rubber tires, a tubular steel frame, toothed-rack steering and elliptic springs.

The Patent-Motorwagen Model I was powered by a single-cylinder, four-stroke engine which had a capacity of 954 cubic centimeters (58 cubic inches). It was fuelled by ligroin, a type of petroleum solvent available at chemists’, and needed about 10 liters (2.64 gallons) of fuel to cover a distance of 100 kilometers (62 miles). The engine could be started by turning the horizontally mounted flywheel manually. Power was transmitted to the rear axle by two drive chains.

The vehicle became popular and recognized with the appearance of the improved Patent-Motorwagen Model III, which was also the first to be sold in series. This is mainly attributed to Bertha Benz’s bold move. In August 1888, without the knowledge of her husband, she decided to take the Patent-Motorwagen Model III and set out on a journey with her two sons. She drove from Mannheim to her hometown, Pforzheim, covering a distance of about 106 kilometers (66 miles). She wanted to promote the new invention, and she was also eager to prove that the automobile was reliable and capable of traveling long distances.

Her journey can be considered the world’s first long-distance road trip with an automobile and she can be regarded as the first female driver. As a result of this move, she successfully dispelled any doubts in connection with the vehicle, thus contributing to the fame of the manufacturer.

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