Gottlieb Daimler, the gardener and the Polizei

Christophe Bonnaud

In the automotive world, do you sometimes find that everything goes very fast, even too fast? Before Artificial Intelligence designs our cars of the future, let’s rewind the film to its origins, when Gottlieb Daimler created his own engine powered by a special fuel: petrol…

In 1872, Gottlieb Daimler accepted a position as technical director in the gas engine factory at Deutz near Cologne. After differences of opinion with the management, he left the company ten years later, in 1882, to set up his own business. In Cannstatt, near the heart of Stuttgart, in Taubenheimstrasse, Gottlieb Daimler bought a villa worth 75,000 marks.

In the large garden of this villa there is a greenhouse, which he enlarges with a brick extension to provide a workshop for his experimental work. At the same time, the garden paths were widened so that it was possible to drive around with carts.

In the garden house, Gottlieb Daimler invited his former partner in the Deutz works – Wilhelm Maybach – to carry out the first tests of the small internal combustion engine. His basic approach was to use petrol as the sole fuel for the engines, and to integrate them into every conceivable vehicle – on land, at sea and in the air.

The tests were conducted in complete secrecy, as Gottlieb Daimler feared that his idea would be copied by the competition. Even the employees of the house and the gardener who looked after the large adjacent park were not informed of what he and Maybach were doing in the garden shed, which had become the site of experiments that were to shape the world of the new car. However, the intrigued gardener Weinbuch finally notifies a police officer and explains that he suspects that Daimler and Maybach are making counterfeit money in the greenhouse, as he often hears it striking and ringing like metal.

When the police arrived at the site during the night, they were surprised to find only tools and engine parts instead of a coin press. Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach were able to continue their research and developed the first four-stroke engine until 1883. Gottlieb Daimler thus realised his vision of a universal engine that would change the world.

This mythical workshop in the greenhouse of the garden pavilion in Cannstatt has now been converted into the “Gottlieb Daimler” memorial and houses a museum as small as the discovery that was made within its walls is huge!

Documents et historique : communication Mercedes

Tip: How about a trip to Stuttgart ? The opportunity to visit three renowned car museums, below :
1-Musée Porsche : Otto-Dürr Strasse 4 – 70435 Stuttgart
2-Musée Gottlieb Daimler : Taubenheim Strasse 13 – 70372 Stuttgart
3-Musée Mercedes : Mercedes Strasse 100 – 70372 Stuttgart

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