Author Topic: Maybach-History of brand  (Read 24980 times)

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Maybach-History of brand
« on: October 31, 2006, 04:36:01 PM »
Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach as the inventors of the car
A powerful team

35 years of close and fruitful co-operation together
Periods spent together in Reutlingen, Karlsruhe, Deutz and Stuttgart
From the "Bruderhaus" to the boardroom of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft
First ever fast-running, four-stroke engine created in a garden shed
Numerous patents for pioneering inventions

Stuttgart, May 22, 2002
Reutlingen in the summer of 1865: the 31-year-old engineer Gottlieb Daimler is the workshop manager within the engineering works of the "Bruderhaus", a social institute with adjoining production facilities built and run by orphans and the homeless for orphans and the homeless. Out of the young adults who work there, his attention is caught by a 19-year-old with a sparkling talent for drawing, who produces an endless stream of design drafts in the factory's own design offices: designs for paper manufacturing machines, for scales, as well as for all manner of farming implements. His name is Wilhelm Maybach.

The two soon form a close bond: the younger Maybach, who was tragically orphaned when aged only ten, sees an inspirational father figure in Daimler, a much travelled man who is well versed in the ways of the world. The older man, on the other hand, immediately recognises Maybach's potential as a designer. This marks the beginning of a partnership that will continue for many years.

But Gottlieb Daimler has career ambitions and is considering leaving. At the end of 1868, he switches from the "Bruderhaus" to the Maschinenbau-Gesellschaft in Karlsruhe, whose manufacturing portfolio includes heavy-duty locomotives. Maybach follows him barely six months later, joining the company as a technical draughtsman. The two spend countless nights discussing the development of motor engines ? motors for pumps, for machining wood or for punching metal panels. Both are quite clear in their minds that only powerful, durable drive units would be capable of speeding up industrial processes in order to rationalise manufacturing.

In 1872, clients from Deutz near Cologne pay a visit to the factory: the Gasmotorenfabrik there is looking for a technical director. Gottlieb Daimler seizes the opportunity, both for himself and for Wilhelm Maybach, and the two move north to the Rhineland. One of the factory's founders in Deutz is Nikolaus August Otto, whose atmospheric gas engines had already drawn attention and who went on to invent the four-stroke engine in 1876. Maybach is charged with optimising the design of this engine and with preparing it for series production. The result is a success: the smooth-running "Otto silent" engine is patented in Germany on August 4, 1877 with the patent number DRP 532.

Garden shed is turned into development laboratory

Although business could not be better, Otto and Daimler make no secret of their animosity towards one another, and in 1882 Daimler returns to the South of Germany. Now aged 48, he purchases a large property in Cannstatt, which is at the time still an autonomous municipality close to Stuttgart. As well as the main house, there is also a small, glass-fronted outhouse which offers plenty of light. It is here that Daimler goes about first setting up a workshop and then appoints his like-minded companion of many years, Wilhelm Maybach, as the "chief designer" of the two-man operation. The objective is clear: to give the four-stroke engine a bit of a helping hand. Petrol, previously used mainly for removing stains and available exclusively from the pharmacist, was to fuel the engine. Both work tirelessly day and night.

All their hard work soon pays off: the major breakthrough comes at the end of 1883, when they succeed in running a four-stroke engine with a single horizontal cylinder which is far lighter than the engines produced in Deutz. In 1884, it reaches the 600 rpm mark, a sensational speed at that time. The high speed is made possible by the curve groove mechanism invented by Daimler and Maybach themselves, as well as the hot-tube ignition process, which was another revolutionary step forward. In his patent application no. 28022 dated December 16, 1883, Gottlieb Daimler had described the ignition mechanism as "a metal ignition cap, the inside of which has a constantly open connection to the combustion chamber", which then ignites the fuel/air mixture.

This is followed just a short time later in 1884 by the first fast-running engine with a vertical cylinder, which can be run on petrol thanks to Maybach's float carburettor. The first test engine of this type goes down in engineering history as the "Grandfather Clock", a reference to its striking arrangement with the vertical cylinder. It generates about one horsepower at a speed of 600 rpm, and is so compact that its inventors claim it can be fitted in boats, fire tenders, sledges and carriages.

Test drive on the "Petroleum Riding Carriage"

Daimler and Maybach focus initially on two-wheeled motorised transport: in 1885, a "grandfather clock" with a displacement of 0.264 litres powers what was actually the first ever motorcycle, consisting of a "gas or petroleum engine positioned underneath the seat and between the two vehicle axles of a single-track chassis" to quote the original patent application lodged on August 29, 1885. Just three months later, Maybach tests out the so-called "Reitwagen" or "riding carriage" on the three-kilometre route from Cannstatt to Unterturkheim, without experiencing any problems and reaching a top speed of twelve km/h.

The work has long since outgrown the garden shed when in 1887 Gottlieb Daimler buys a large plot of land on the Seelberg in Cannstatt where he begins to set up workshops for producing engines. The working partnership is a successful one: Maybach develops, Daimler builds up the contacts and sells the engines. The firm employs 23 highly skilled workers on the Seelberg. It is here that Maybach develops a water-cooled, two-cylinder engine as the successor to the legendary "grandfather clock" which is unable to provide enough power for its planned use in four-wheeled vehicles.

The new V-type engine is demonstrated at the 1889 World Exhibition in Paris running in a vehicle designed by Maybach known simply as the "wire-wheel car". The response is tremendous. Licenses for engine manufacture are soon being granted in France where a rapidly increasing number of drive units are being fitted in cars and with great success; a clear sign for Daimler and Maybach to start to turn their attention more to car manufacturing.

In order to drum up the capital for the necessary expansion, the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) is founded on November 28, 1890 with the support of a number of industrialists. It soon becomes obvious, however, that Gottlieb Daimler would not be able to work together in the long term with the financiers, bureaucrats and sceptics within the company management, who, to make matters worse, are far more interested in manufacturing stationary engines than cars.

Groundbreaking inventions made in the heart of the former spa hotel

As his influence begins to wane, Daimler finds a way out: after leaving as a result of contractual problems back in 1891, Wilhelm Maybach is commissioned to carry on his research under the strictest secrecy in the dance hall of the former Hotel Hermann in Cannstatt. He is given free rein and is assisted by twelve workers and five apprentices. It is not long before the brilliant designer unveils the Phoenix engine, consisting of two vertical cylinders cast together to form a single block. This engine marks a further engineering milestone with its spray-nozzle carburettor, the basis for all modern carburettor technology. Finally, Maybach designs the celebrated four-seater "belt-driven car", of which 150 are built by 1899.

Things have in the meantime taken a turn for the worse at the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft since Maybach's departure. Loans need to be taken which cannot be repaid and bankruptcy is looming. On October 10, 1894 Gottlieb Daimler leaves his company with a compensation payment of 66,666 marks. He is back just one year later though, accompanied by Wilhelm Maybach as technical director. This had been at the insistence of the Englishman Frederick Richard Simms who bought the licensing rights to the Phoenix engine for the princely sum of 350,000 marks, at the same time saving DMG from ruin.

It is time for a serious rethink. The rest of the company management also starts to realise how much potential cars hold for the future. The annual report for 1895 clearly bear's the mark of the firm's founder Gottlieb Daimler, asserting that, "All available resources are to be channelled into developing motor vehicle manufacturing, as following the recent successes ... demand is growing constantly."

Premiere for new lightweight four-cylinder engine

Maybach's inventions stimulate an economic upturn in the years that follow; after developing the tubular radiator to improve engine cooling and increase power output in 1897, Maybach goes on to design the Phoenix car featuring a front-mounted drive unit and then produces a new generation of lightweight four-cylinder engines, which use the magneto make-and-break ignition system invented by Robert Bosch to generate peak outputs of up to 23 hp. The 4-speed geared transmission and a 23-hp racing car to crown the model range also draw much acclaim. The result is a two-fold increase in DMG's revenues between 1898 and 1900 to 1.6 million marks.

When Gottlieb Daimler passes away on March 6, 1900 at the age of almost 66, it marks the end of a great era. Throughout their 35 fruitful years of working together, Daimler and Maybach had constantly proved themselves to be the perfect match: Daimler, the fountain of ideas and great visionary; Maybach, the design genius who breathed life into those visions and gave them form.

Stimuli for the first true car

Maybach retains his post as chief designer at DMG, whose fate over the course of the next few months is influenced by two names more than any other: those of Emil Jellinek and Mercedes.

Jellinek, who had established a successful business selling Daimler models on the Cote d?Azur in Southern France, tells the Stuttgart car-makers in no uncertain terms what displeases him about the cars: "too high up," he says, "and the short wheelbase makes them too wobbly." Maybach listens ? and then goes back to the drawing board. The new design, which bears the name of Jellinek's daughter, Mercedes, and which finally marks the end of the age of carriages, is viewed by automotive historians as the "first true car". From this time on, the French regard Maybach as the "roi des constructeurs", the king of design.

The joy is short-lived however. Maybach is feeling the effects of the gruelling work, soul-sapping burdens such as the death of Gottlieb Daimler and the ongoing frictions within DMG; in the autumn of 1903, aged 57, he is taken seriously ill and sent to convalesce in Northern Italy and Switzerland. His influence in the corporate hierarchy begins to gradually crumble, and on April 1, 1907 he leaves DMG for a final time following persistent conflict and sets out together with his son Karl to build a new future for themselves in the airship industry, which is just starting to take shape.

On December 29,1929, Wilhelm Maybach dies at the age of 83. He is buried in Cannstatt, very near to the grave of his companion over those many years, Gottlieb Daimler.

The garden shed in Bad Cannstatt

A workshop full of memories

Daimler's and Maybach's place of work from 1882 - 1887
The cradle of modern-day automotive technology
Original "grandfather clock", "riding carriage" and Daimler motorised carriage
Following Gottlieb Daimler's purchase in 1882 of a large property in Cannstatt, still an autonomous municipality close to Stuttgart at that time, he and Wilhelm Maybach set up their workshop in the garden shed that made up part of the property. Both worked tirelessly day and night to redevelop the fast-running four-stroke engine, and devise numerous inventions, such as the hot-tube ignition system.

Today, following careful restoration, the old garden shed has been converted into the "Gottlieb-Daimler Memorial" located in Cannstatt's spa park, and showcases the birthplace of the age of motorisation, which is as simple as it is fascinating. Visitors can also see the modest resources that the two men had at their disposal at the time as they worked inside a building measuring less than 100 square metres.

Chronological tables describe how Daimler's and Maybach's careers evolved together. The transition from the age of horse-drawn carriages to the car is documented by exhibits including a "riding carriage" dating from 1885, as well as a working model of the Daimler motorised carriage from 1886, equipped with the vertical "grandfather clock" engine. The former workshop also has a model of the first petrol-powered engine with hot-tube ignition and an original "grandfather clock" engine on show.

The sturdy wooden workbench is a magnificent piece of nostalgia in itself: spanners, tyre levers and files are in mint condition, while hand-operated drilling tools and a whetstone are examples of what was considered the technological state of the art at the time. Visitors will also find a fully equipped forge, complete with smith's hearth and anvil, where Daimler and Maybach laboured away to shape every single work-piece, lever and axle they needed for their pioneering designs.

Although the garden shed gradually slipped into disuse as a workshop following the move to the new factory on the Seelberg in Cannstatt in 1887, its enormous significance for motoring history has been preserved for all to see.

Gottlieb-Daimler Memorial
Taubenheimstr. 13
D-70372 Stuttgart (Bad Cannstatt), Germany
Tel.: +49 711 56 93 99;
Opening times: Tuesday - Sunday from 10 a.m. ? 4 p.m. Closed on Mondays and public holidays. Free entry.

Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach -
Visions, inventions and patents

Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach first cross paths at the "Bruderhaus" in Reutlingen where Daimler manages the workshops in the engineering works there. The 19-year-old Wilhelm Maybach from Heilbronn, whose parents had been tragically killed, works in the design office there. His extraordinary talent for drawing soon catches Daimler's attention.

Daimler joins the board of the Maschinenbaugesellschaft in Karlsruhe and calls up Maybach barely six months later to work as a technical draughtsman.

Daimler takes over a post as technical director of the Gasmotorenfabrik in Deutz, founded by Nikolaus Otto and Eugen Langen. A short time later, aged 27, Maybach is appointed head of the design office in Deutz, during which time he prepares the four-stroke engine invented by Otto himself in 1876 for series production.

Wilhelm Maybach marries Bertha Habermaas, a friend of Emma Daimler, the wife of Gottlieb Daimler since 1867.

After persistent personal conflicts and disagreements on design matters with Nikolaus Otto, Gottlieb Daimler leaves his post at the Gasmotorenfabrik in Deutz. It is in Cannstatt near Stuttgart that he buys a generously sized property with a villa, and has the garden shed that is part of the property converted to a workshop. Wilhelm Maybach follows shortly afterwards. The aim of both men: to develop a fast-running four-stroke engine that is suitable for universal use.

Daimler's and Maybach's work in the garden shed leads to the development of hot-tube ignition and many other improvements to the internal combustion engine. The patents for these inventions lay the legal cornerstone for their subsequent commercial success.

The test engine reaches the 600 rpm mark for the first time. This is followed in the same year by the "grandfather clock", a petrol-powered engine with a vertical single cylinder intended for use in boats, fire tenders and other equipment.

Testing carried out with the "riding carriage" the precursor of the modern-day motorbike. It is powered by the "grandfather clock" engine.

The engine is fitted in a carriage for the first time, which becomes known as the "motorised carriage". Daimler and Maybach have just started to open up the tremendous potential of individual, motorised transportation.

Operations are moved to a larger production facility in Cannstatt, where mostly engines are manufactured, as well as test vehicles.

Daimler's "wire-wheel car", a lightweight four-wheel car with V2 engine and geared transmission, is unveiled at the World Exhibition in Paris.

The Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) is founded. Daimler takes a position as deputy chairman of the Supervisory Board, Maybach is made a member of the Board of Management.

Maybach leaves the firm and later heads a development centre financed by Daimler located in the dance hall of a former hotel in Cannstatt.

DMG is threatened by bankruptcy. Gottlieb Daimler also leaves the firm.

Frederick R. Simms, a British engineer, buys the licensing rights to the Phoenix engine for 350,000 marks, demanding that Daimler and Maybach be reinstated in their previous posts at DMG in return. The 1000th engine is completed at the end of the year.

Maybach brings the Phoenix car with its engine positioned above the front axle up to series production standard.

Gottlieb Daimler dies on March 6. Acting on a suggestion from entrepreneur Emil Jellinek, Wilhelm Maybach starts to make fundamental changes to automotive designs. The result is the 35-hp Mercedes, which goes down in the history books as the first modern-day car.

1901- 1906
Wilhelm Maybach develops engines and chassis in rapid succession to be used in the Mercedes models, as they are now known.

A large blaze completely destroys the production site in Cannstatt. The new premises of DMG are established in Stuttgart-Unterturkheim.

Maybach leaves DMG as the result of persistent differences of opinion with the firm's management. He starts to advise his son Karl Maybach, who designs engines to power Count Zeppelin's airships.

Stuttgart's technical university presents Wilhelm Maybach with an honorary doctorate.

Wilhelm Maybach dies on December 29 in Stuttgart.

Wilhelm Maybach is accepted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.