Chronik 1901 - 1910/en
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March 25 - 29: A 35 hp Mercedes wins the Nice - Salon - Nice race (distance: 392 km). At the wheel is company driver Wilhelm Werner, who also wins the Nice-La Turbie hill race at an average speed of 51.4 km/h. The new car is so successful that Paul Meyan, secretary general of the French automobile club, subsequently wrote: "Nous sommes entrés dans l'ère Mercédès" (We have entered the Mercedes era). September 27: Wilhelm Kress makes the first experimental flights in a seaplane fitted with a 35 hp four-cylinder Mercedes engine. This is the first ever flying machine fitted with an internal combustion engine. September: Negotiations take place in America on starting up production of Mercedes cars. December: Mercedes' success in America prompts millionaires like Rockefeller, Astor, Morgan, Taylor and others to purchase 40 hp Mercedes cars.
January 1: The "Österreichische Daimler-Motoren-Kommanditgesellschaft Bierenz, Fischer & Co., Wiener-Neustadt" is taken over by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and continues to trade as a subsidiary. July 29: Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft takes over "Motorfahrzeug- und Motorenfabrik Berlin AG" (MMB) in Berlin-Marienfelde and continues to operate it as a branch. September 26: The trademark "Mercedes" is officially registered after having been filed on June 23. Summer: Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft introduces the Mercedes "Simplex" 18/22 hp, 28/32 hp, 40/45 hp and 60/70 hp. "Simplex" indicates "simplified", and the vehicle has a lighter engine and lower consumption of cooling water than its 1900/01 predecessors. November 27: "G. F. Milnes & Co., Ltd.", London, in which "Motorfahrzeug- und Motorenfabrik Berlin AG" has an 80 % holding, is renamed "Milnes-Daimler Ltd." after the merger of MMB and DMG and acquires the sole distribution rights for DMG for the whole of the British empire. December 10 - 25: At the Paris Motor Show, Benz & Cie. presents the Benz "Parsifal" 8/10 hp. This vehicle has a 2-cylinder engine located in front of the driver's seat and a cardan drive-shaft. This marks the final departure from rear mounted engines and belt drives.
January 19: The first vertical 4-cylinder engine built by Benz & Cie. leaves the test bench in Mannheim ready for installation. January 24: Karl Benz leaves Benz & Cie, but the same year is nominated to the Supervisory Board, which he continues to be a member of until 1927 - even after the merger to form Daimler-Benz. Spring: "Società Italiana dei Motori Daimler" is founded in Milan. The company acts as a repair workshop and takes over sales of those DMG products, which are not covered by Jellinek's sole distribution rights. June 9/10: A major fire in Cannstatt destroys about 90 finished and unfinished vehicles, including three 90 hp racing cars intended for use in the Gordon Bennett Race. July 2: Belgian driver Camille Jenatzy wins the 4th Gordon Bennett Race in Ireland in a 60 hp Mercedes. The car belongs to American enthusiast Clarence G. Dinsmore from New York, who made it available to Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft for the race following the fire in Cannstatt. August 30 - September 4: The German boat "Mercedes", fitted with a 40 hp Mercedes Simplex engine, clocks up its first foreign success in the first race from Paris to the sea. Mercedes wins all of the 6 stages covering a total distance of over 322 kilometers. December: Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft starts up its first production facility in its newly-constructed Untertürkheim plant.
January: A 90 hp Mercedes racing car driven by W. K. Vanderbilt jun. breaks the absolute world record for the mile in Ormond-Daytona Bay, Florida/USA with a speed of 148.5 km/h. March: King Edward VII of England takes delivery of an 18/24 hp Mercedes car. March: "Ateliers Mercédès-Daimler S.A." is established in Puteaux, near Paris. The company is to act as a repair workshop and sales outlet for products not covered by the sole distribution rights held by Jellinek. May 26: The administration of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft moves from Cannstatt to the new plant in Untertürkheim. The move is officially recorded in the Commercial Register of Companies on October 17. November: Following a change in ownership, the Coventry-based "Daimler Motor Company, Ltd." is renamed "Daimler Motor Company (1904), Ltd.". December: "Mercédès Société Francaise d'Automobiles", in which both Emil Jellinek and DMG hold a stake, is founded in Paris. In June 1905 the new company takes over the DMG subsidiaries in Puteaux and Milan and, on January 1, 1906 the distribution rights for Mercedes car and marine engines previously held by Jellinek. Emil Jellinek creates a new sales record for Mercedes with 24 orders from Belgium, 12 from Holland and 150 from England.
January 25: Driving a Mercedes with two 60 hp engines, H. L. Bowden achieves a new world record of 176.5 km/h for a mile with flying start at Daytona Beach, Florida/USA. January 30: In the final run of the USA Ormond Derby, E. R. Thomas, in a 90 hp Mercedes, reaches an average speed of 153.3 km/h over ten miles, a world record. January: The "American Mercedes" is presented at the National Automobile Show in Madison Square Garden, New York. The first Mercedes manufactured in America, produced by "Daimler Manufacturing Company", is essentially a replica of the Mercedes 45 hp built in Untertürkheim. February: The last machine leaves the Cannstatt plant of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft for Untertürkheim. February: Georg Wiß founds the "Süddeutsche Automobilfabrik Gaggenau GmbH" (S.A.G.) in Gaggenau. Fall: Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft presents two important innovations in commercial vehicle design: location of the radiator at the front end of the frame and the introduction of cast steel wheels.
July: In Paris two companies are founded in which both Emil Jellinek and DMG hold a stake: "Société des Automobiles Industrielles", in which DMG has a 55 % holding , and "Société Mercédès Electrique", in which DMG holds an 8.5% share. "Société des Automobiles Industrielles" acquires the plant site in Wiener Neustadt, Austria from DMG and the manufacturing licenses for France, Austria-Hungary and the Balkans. "Société Mercédès Electrique" is the brainchild of Jellinek and is to begin production of electric-powered cars according to the Lohner-Porsche system. Following the purchase of the plant in Wiener Neustadt Österreichische Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft is converted into a limited company. September 23: In the 8th Semmering Race (distance: 10 km) Hermann Braun, in a 100 hp Mercedes, sets a new course record with an average speed of 77 km/h. This is Braun's fourth consecutive victory in this top class hill climb. September: "Deutsche Mercedes-Verkaufsgesellschaft GmbH" is established in Frankfurt to handle the increasingly important domestic sales sector. Flinsch & Co., previously the general distributor, "Mercédès Société Francaise d'Automobiles", Paris and "Continental Caoutchouc & Gutta-Percha-Compagnie" all hold equal stakes in the new company. At the end of 1907 DMG takes over the shares held by Flinsch and Continental. October: In Mannheim, "Rheinische Automobil-Gesellschaft AG" is founded to handle sales of Benz automobiles. Benz & Cie. purchases an industrial site on Luzenberg Hill in Mannheim-Waldhof for 1.6 million Marks. Special measures including a reduction of working time to 9 1/2 hours per day result in the need to introduce double shifts in several sections of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft.
February 13: The production plant of "Daimler Manufacturing Company" in New York is gutted in a serious fire that destroys eight completed cars and around 40 others still under construction. Production on this site is never resumed. February 28 - March 12: The "Maja" car constructed by Ferdinand Porsche is presented at the Vienna Motor Show initially only in chassis form. Production of the 28/32 hp car conceived by Emil Jellinek and named after his second daughter begins shortly afterwards at "Österreichische Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft mbH" in Wiener Neustadt. However, Jellinek does not achieve the same level of commercial success with the "Maja" as experienced with the "Mercedes". April 1: Wilhelm Maybach leaves Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft. He is succeeded by Paul Daimler as Head of the Design Office and Technical Manager. Summer: Benz & Cie. acquires "Süddeutsche Automobilfabrik Gaggenau GmbH" in return for its own shares to a value of 350,000 Marks. "Süddeutsche Automobilfabrik Gaggenau" supplies the first self-propelled "Grunewald" fire hose and the first 4-cylinder, 30 hp aero-engine to the German Airship Battalion in Berlin. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft starts production of motorized fire tenders in Berlin-Marienfelde.
March: Mercedes models are fitted with the new Bosch contact-breaking ignition system - which can also be retrofitted in older models on request. April 6: The two Paris-based companies "Société Mercédès Electrique" and "Société des Automobiles Commercielles" are merged into "Österreichische Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft mbH". June 9 - 18: The first Prince Heinrich Tour takes place between Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Frankfurt. The Benz company driver Fritz Erle takes victory in a Benz 50 hp touring car. July 7: Christian Lautenschlager wins the French Grand Prix in Dieppe in a 140 hp Mercedes. He completes the 769.88 km in 6 hours 55 minutes and 43 seconds - an average speed of 111.1 km/h. Second and third places are taken by Victor Héméry and René Hanriot in Benz cars, and the track record of 126.5 km/h is set by Otto Salzer, also in a 140 hp Mercedes. Fall: The Hungarian company Benz-Automobilfabrik AG is set up to undertake the production of cars, trucks and omnibuses. September 14: The first electrically-driven motorized fire engine is put into service with the Berlin fire brigade. These fire engines are fitted with an electric power train which uses a high-charge electro-battery to drive the front wheels by means of wheel hub motors on the front axle. This type of vehicle was sold under the name "Mercédès-Electrique" and produced at "Österreichische Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft mbH" in Wiener Neustadt. October 12: The Benz plant built at Luzenberg in Mannheim-Waldhof at a cost of 600,000 Marks is officially opened. In the period up to 1909 automobile manufacture is gradually transferred to the new plant. November: Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft grants exclusive distribution rights for all its products in England to "Milnes-Daimler Ltd.", London. Benz & Cie.'s new plant on Luzenberg Hill in Mannheim-Waldhof is completed at a total cost of 600,000 Marks and car production is transferred there. Dr. Hans Nibel becomes chief engineer at Benz & Cie.
March 14: Prosper L'Orange takes out a patent on behalf of Benz & Cie. for the pre-chamber injection system he has invented. May 1: Paul Graetz arrives in Swakopmund, German South-West Africa, to complete the first crossing of Africa in an automobile. His specially-designed 35 hp car is constructed at "Süddeutsche Automobilfabrik Gaggenau GmbH" and features a special body built by the Neuss coachworks in Berlin. The 9,500 km journey had begun on August 10, 1907 in Dar-es-Salaam, German East Africa. The construction of a 60 hp, 4-cylinder engine marks Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft's debut in aero-engine manufacture. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft acquires the license for the sleeve-valve engine invented by the American Charles J. Knight.
March 17: At Daytona Beach, Florida/USA, Barney Oldfield, in a 200 hp "Blitzen Benz", covers a mile at an average of 211.4 km/h - a new world record. June 2-8: Benz & Cie. enters a special touring sports car in the third Prince Heinrich Tour. The 100 hp, 7.2 liter 4-cylinder engine is the first four-valve unit constructed at Benz. Fall: Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft starts selling the first fire brigade turntable ladders on Daimler chassis. October 3: An extraordinary general meeting at "Birmingham Small Arms Co., Ltd." results in the decision to take over "Daimler Motor Company (1904), Ltd.". Fifty years later the BSA Group sells the English Daimler company to "Jaguar Cars Ltd." based in Coventry. October 7: "Österreichische Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft mbH" is converted into a stock corporation. DMG's stake in the company stands at around 25 %. December 3-18: At the Paris Motor Show DMG presents a Landaulet fitted with a Knight sleeve-valve engine. Series production of the Mercedes Knight 16/40 hp begins in early 1911. December 31: Süddeutsche Automobilfabrik GmbH becomes "Benzwerke Gaggenau GmbH".
Spring: Trading begins in Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft shares on the Stuttgart stock exchange. April 23: At Daytona Beach, Florida/USA, Bob Burman in "Blitzen Benz" clocks up an average speed of 228.1 km/h for the mile from a flying start - the highest speed ever achieved by a road vehicle and a world record which remains unbeaten until 1924. August: In Berlin, Mercedes aero-engines manufactured by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft are voted the best engines during the German Long Distance Flight Trials. Benz & Cie. supplies a new high-performance "Hesselman System", marine diesel engine for the motor-vessel "Fram" used by Roald Amundsen for his Antarctic expedi
January: Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft supplies a 14/45 hp Mercedes to the Japanese emperor Yoshihito. This becomes the first automobile in the imperial fleet. October 1: The 4-cylinder FX Benz aero-engine developed by engineer Arthur Berger is presented to the public. October 2: Ralph de Palma wins the Vanderbilt Race in the USA in a 140 hp Mercedes Grand Prix racing car of 1908. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft acquires a site at "Unter den Linden 50/51" in Berlin for sales and exhibition purposes.
January 27: Benz & Cie.'s 4-cylinder FX Benz aero-engine is awarded the "Kaiserpreis" (Emperor's prize for the best aero-engine). The FX has a cubic capacity of 9.6 liters and a power rating of 105 hp. April: DMG sells its stake in "Österreichische Daimler-Motoren-AG" to "Skoda-Werke AG", based in Plzen, Czechoslovakia. This severs the link between DMG and its former subsidiary. September 30: The new "Mercedes Palace" opens on Unter den Linden Avenue in the center of Berlin. December 22: On the Brooklands circuit in England, L. G. Hornsted sets two world records in a 200 hp Benz, a modified variant of the "Blitzen Benz", - one for the half mile with standing start (113.8 km/h) and one for the kilometer (118.8 km/h).
May: The first units of the Mercedes 28/95 hp, which embodies the tradition at DMG of particularly exclusive and high-performance cars of the highest caliber, leave the Untertürkheim plant. 25 vehicles are delivered by July 1915. Between1920 and 1924 a further 600 of this essentially unaltered model are built. July 4: Christian Lautenschlager wins the French Grand Prix in Lyon in a 115 hp Grand Prix Mercedes whose 4.5 liter engine has two inlet and two outlet valves per cylinder. Second and third places are taken by Louis Wagner and Otto Salzer in the same type of car. This one-two-three against stiff international competition is also the second time DMG has won one of the most important Grand Prix races on the calendar. Benz builds the first German 12-cylinder aero-engine - the Bz DV - weighing 425 kg and producing 250 hp. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft introduce the 12/32 hp Mercedes which is built up to 1919 and mainly supplied as a field ambulance.
May 31: Ralph de Palma wins the Indianapolis Grand Prix in the USA in a 4.5 liter 115 hp Grand Prix Mercedes. July 6/7: Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft acquires sites at Böblingen military airport on which to build an aircraft plant at Sindelfingen. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft acquires sites at Untertürkheim and Marienfelde in order to expand its production facilities. The first twin-engined AEG aircraft is fitted with Benz Bz II 150 hp aero-engines. In order to increase its capacity, Benz & Cie. buys a controlling share in "Marta Ungarische Automobil AG" in Arad, where it starts building aero-engines. It also purchases a stake in "Aviatik-Flugzeugwerke".
September 28: Following negotiations with "Flugzeugbau-Friedrichshafen GmbH" an agreement is signed which allows Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft to build aircraft under license and fit them with Daimler engines. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and Benz & Cie. each establish their own apprenticeship department. "Rheinische Automobil-Gesellschaft AG", a sales company for Benz automobiles, and Benz & Cie. merge. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft provides loans of over 5 million Marks to the city of Stuttgart. Aviatik-Flugzeugwerke, which transferred from Freiburg to Leipzig after Benz bought a stake in it, achieves a monthly output of 100 aircraft.
July 1: The Sindelfingen plant is requested to prepare for aero-engine production. The Air Corps inspectors intend to increase production of Mercedes aero-engines and at the same time to decentralize manufacturing operations. Dr. Hans Nibel becomes Deputy Board Member and Wilhelm Kissel is made "Prokurist" [authorized signatory] of Benz & Cie. The Sindelfingen plant is expanded through the acquisition of "Süddeutsche Teppichfabrik". About half the workforce at the Marienfelde plant is involved in truck production. The employee's relief fund set up at Benz & Cie. in 1906 is changed into a relief and pension fund. 1.5 million Marks are also spent on setting up a workers' welfare fund, which is henceforth financed by annual profits. Production of light tanks begins in Untertürkheim - with the engines being supplied from Marienfelde. However, by the end of the First World War a mere 23 tanks have been produced. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft's Berlin-Marienfelde plant - which had produced the first marine diesel engines in 1912 - supplies U-boat engines to the navy. Work begins in Sindelfingen on the first administration building. Initially a one-storey construction, additional floors are added in 1919. 1918 January 1: Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft's Sindelfingen plant, which had hitherto been managed from Untertürkheim, becomes an independent operation. March 6: The management of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft is put under military supervision and accused in the civil courts of setting excessively high prices. March: The first Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft production lines in Sindelfingen start to produce aero-engines. A lack of machines means that the first engines are only ready for testing shortly before the end of the war. The eight-hour working day is introduced at Benz & Cie. Fall: A number of test benches for aero-engines are set up at the Sindelfingen plant. December 9: The military authorities drop their accusations of excessively high prices against Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft. Between 1914 and 1918 the workforce employed by Benz & Cie. in Mannheim and Gaggenau expands from 7,700 to over 12,000. The balance sheet total increases from 55 to 107 million Marks.
January: A customer magazine entitled "Daimler-Zeitung" appears for the first time, but ceases in December after only seven editions have been published. March: The Sindelfingen workforce goes on strike in order to achieve an inflation bonus. June 6: The "Daimler-Werkzeitung", edited by cultural philosopher Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, appears. The idea of this in-house publication is to inform the workforce about new ways of economic thinking during these times of far-reaching social and political change. On August 26, 1920, one day after the closure of the Untertürkheim plant, it appears for the last time. November 12: The "Daimler-Werksnachrichten" is published as an information bulletin for employees of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in the Untertürkheim and Sindelfingen factories. It ceases publication in October 1922. In order to make full use of spare capacity at the former aircraft plant in Sindelfingen, vehicle bodies and furniture are produced. During the course of 1919 there are recurrent strikes in all three of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft's factories.
August 25: Following the strike of 1919 in Untertürkheim, there is an escalation of activity by groups of Communist workers, who terrorize their more moderate colleagues and dominate the first statutory Works Council which has just been set up. The government of Württemberg therefore forcibly closes the main plant. September: Production restarts at Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft with a reduced workforce of 4,200. Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft trebles its share capital within a period of 8 months to a total of 100 million Marks. In terms of capital resources it is now one of Germany's biggest industrial companies. In order to reduce the risk of excessive foreign control, Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and Maschinenfabrik Esslingen exchange preference shares with 16-fold voting rights. Benz issues preference shares with 12-fold voting rights to a value of 2 million Marks and a 10-year blocking period. Benz & Cie. presents a side-tipping truck to the public.