Benz Patent-Motorwagen: The First Automobile in History
September 12, 2016
Do you consider yourself a car enthusiast and have wondered about the very first automobile ever created? Who made it and why did they think to invent it in the first place? Maybe you are also curious about what parts they initially used prior to having modern car parts like a universal muffler.
Allow us to introduce to you what is recognized as the very first vehicle invented in history: the Benz Patent-Motorwagen.
Karl Benz: The Inventor
The Benz Patent-Motorwagen (or Motorcar as others like to call it) was created in the year 1886. It was originally designed to be driven with the help of an internal combustion engine.
The inventor is Karl Benz, an engine designer from Germany. According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, he created the vehicle’s internal combustion engine to help get more income for his mechanical workshop and iron foundry. This innovation of his is considered to be the very first practical vehicle to be ever made. His wife, Bertha, was the one who financed the car’s development process; with her help, Benz was able to unveil the motorcar to the public in 1886.
Benz Patent-Motorwagen’s Features
The Benz Patent-Motorwagen was made up of several parts that, at the time, were also new inventions. It was powered by a rear-mounted engine and works as a three-wheeled automobile. However, it structure was mostly made up of woodwork panels and steel tubing.
Benz is also the original designer of the motorwagen’s rubber tires and steel-poked wheels. He also designed the vehicle to be steered by a toothed rack that turned its front wheel. It could travel up to eight miles per hour and could only seat two people at a time.
With the motorwagen, Bertha was able to go on a 66-mile trip from their hometown in Mannheim to Pforzheim in Germany. She made the trip to visit her mother, surprising everyone who saw her along her route.
Benz Patent-Motorwagen’s Commercial Success
Benz and his wife were successful in terms of widely publicizing the Benz Patent-Motorwagen when Bertha made the trip to Pforzheim. News about the invention had spread quickly and, because of that, the couple was able to make a solid customer base who wanted to purchase the vehicle.
Benz was able to commence selling the motorcar to the public on July 1886. Its price was originally set at $1,000, which is equivalent to $26,337 today.
The motorcar’s commercial success led to Benz’s company expanding and to other innovations and car models like the Benz Velo, the first car to be ever mass-produced in history. Benz had decided to retire from his business in 1903.
Today, his company is now known as the famous car manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz. The Benz Patent-Motorwagen is an important innovation in history not only for its car manufacturer but also for the entire car industry today.