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English   The history behind the Mercedes-Benz brand and the three-pointed star
15.12.2010 von admin

German version

The history behind the Mercedes-Benz brand and the three-pointed star
Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz

The invention in the 1880s of the high-speed engine and the automobile enabled Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz – independently of one another – to lay the foundations for the motorization of road transport. With the help of financial backers and partners, they both invested their private developments in their own enterprises – in Mannheim, Benz founded the firm Benz & Cie. in October 1883, and Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) was formed in November 1890.

Gottlieb Daimler (left), 1834 - 1900, inventor and creator of the first high-speed gasoline engine (1883), the so-called riding car (1885), and the first motorized carriage (1886). Carl Benz (right), 1844 - 1929, inventor and creator of the first integrated automobile, the Benz patent motor car (1886).

In order to gain publicity and a certain distinction for their products, both companies sought a suitable trademark. To begin with, the inventors used their own names – “Benz” and “Daimler” – which vouched for the origin and quality of the engines and vehicles. The trademark of the Mannheim-based company Benz & Cie. remained unchanged, except that in 1909, the cog wheel symbol which had been used since 1903 was replaced with a laurel wreath surrounding the name Benz. But the turn of the century brought a completely new brand name for products from Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) in Cannstatt: “Mercedes”. So what is the origin of this name?

Emil Jellinek becomes involved
Emil Jellinek, already known under the sobriquet Monsieur Mercedes - a name he had borrowed from his daughter
The Mercedes brand was named after Mercedes Jellinek, daughter of Emil Jellinek and aged ten at the time.
Mercédès – a Spanish girl’s name meaning ‘grace’ – was the name of the daughter born in 1889 to the Austrian businessman, Emil Jellinek, who had homes in Baden near Vienna and Nice.

A progressive thinker with an interest in sport, Jellinek turned his enthusiasm to the dawning age of the automobile, an invention he knew would be of key importance for the future. As early as 1897, he made the journey to Cannstatt to visit the Daimler factory and ordered his first Daimler car – a belt-driven vehicle with a six-hp two-cylinder engine.

But the car, delivered in October 1897 and with a top speed of 24 km/h, was soon too slow for Jellinek. He demanded 40 km/h and ordered two more vehicles. Supplied in September 1898, the two
Daimler Phoenix cars with their front–mounted eight-hp engines were the world’s first road vehicles with four-cylinder engines.

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