The “American Mercedes” was built in America from 1905

125 years ago: Daimler and Steinway founded the Daimler Motor Company in New York

  • Daimler became the first European car manufacturer in the United States of America
  • Initially stationary and marine engines, followed in 1905 by the “American Mercedes” passenger car.

Stuttgart – On 29 September 1888, piano manufacturer William Steinway established the Daimler Motor Company on Long Island, New York. Thus began the history of Daimler in North America, 125 years ago – just two years after the birth of the automobile. The aim was to produce stationary and marine engines in the United States according to a patent owned by Gottlieb Daimler.

Drawing of the Daimler office in New York

Drawing of the Daimler office in New York

nnovation, in the form of the high-speed internal combustion engine, was at the heart of the automobiles that Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz invented, independently of one another, in 1886. Yet these novel machines were capable of much more than simply powering a four-wheeled (the Daimler Motor Carriage) or three-wheeled (the Benz Patent Motor Car) road vehicle. Gottlieb Daimler demonstrated this by implementing his single-cylinder unit, often called the “Grandfather Clock” due to its distinctive shape, as a stationary engine and as a means of propulsion in a range of vehicles. Examples of mobile applications include a two-wheeled riding car (1885), the motor boat “Marie,” a four-seater railway trolley, a motorised narrow-gauge “Waggonet,” or tram, (all 1887) and Wölfert’s airship (1888).

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