Gottlieb Daimler: Biography & Inventions

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson goes over the life and work of one Gottlieb Daimler. If you're into cars, and his last name rings a bell, you'll find out why that may be the case in this lesson.

Gottlieb Daimler

When you think of a luxury car, what type of car do you think of? Lincoln? Cadillac? Maybe a BMW? Well, how about a Mercedes? Mercedes is closely linked to a man known as Gottlieb Daimler. In this lesson, you're going to learn about his life and inventions and how he's tied to this famous luxury car brand.

Early Life & Education

Daimler was born on March 17, 1834, in Schorndorf, Wurrtemberg (what is now Germany). This is near Stuttgart, Germany.

Daimler was no ordinary child. Can you think of what you were doing around the age of 14? Maybe you were playing soccer with friends. Perhaps you were learning how to draw. Or maybe you were glued to the TV playing a video game.

Anyways, it's highly unlikely you were an apprentice to a gunsmith. That's exactly what Daimler was doing around age 14 while attending a technical school. And not only that, Daimler wasn't just a random teenage apprentice. He even made his own double-barreled pistol!

So, his propensity to engineer some pretty hefty things makes sense in light of the fact that he went on to study mechanical engineering at Stuttgart Polytechnic Institute.

Career and Inventions

After graduating, he worked in different engineering firms gaining first-hand experience working with engines. By 1872, he was working for Nikolaus A. Otto. Otto had invented an important internal-combustion engine at the time.

While working for Otto, Daimler met Wilhelm Maybach, who would go on to become a prominent German engineer himself. Both Daimler and Maybach left Otto's company to start their own business building, but what else, engines!

Gottlieb Daimler
Gottlieb Daimler

As they worked together, they built and invented the following:

  • A high-speed internal-combustion engine
  • A carburetor that allowed their engines to use gasoline for fuel
  • What was most likely one of the world's first motorcycles
  • A horseless carriage, basically a crude early automobile
  • A boat

By 1889, Daimler and Maybach were designing and building fully-fledged and commercially feasible automobiles with rear-mounted engines, four speeds, and belt-driven wheels. They started a company, the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (in Cannstatt), otherwise known as the Daimler Motor Company. It would later become Daimler-Benz in 1926 and, as it's known today, Daimler-Chrysler in 1998.

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