The Reitwagen replica----William Eggers----1885 Daimler home----1887 Roper Steam Velocipede

Gotlieb Daimler

Automotive pioneer Gottlieb Daimler (1834 - 1900) was born at Schorndorf, Wurtemburg, Germany. He studied at the Polytechnic in Stuttgart and apprenticed as a gunsmith. In order to enlarge his understanding of engineering, Daimler traveled to France, working on the gas engine of J J Lenoir in Paris. He later gained experience in a locomotive works at Strasburg, and at the factory of Joseph Whitworth (1803-87) in Manchester.
The 29-year-old Daimler was appointed in 1863 to reorganise the affairs of the Bruderhaus Maschinen-Fabrik, where he met his life-long friend and design assistant Wilhelm Maybach (1846-1929).  

In 1872, Daimler and Maybach began working for Nikolaus Otto at Deutz-AG-Gasmotorenfabrik in Cologne, then the world's largest manufacturer of stationary engines. The company was partly owned by Nikolaus Otto, inventor of the four-stroke internal-combustion engine. Both Daimler and Otto focused on gas engine development, while Maybach was chief designer.

Daimler and Maybach went into business together in 1882. They set up a workshop in a converted greenhouse on an estate in Taubenheimstraße in Cannstatt, Stuttgart.

The greenhouse with its workbench and smithy became the refuge of the two engineers. Daimler and Maybach worked day and night and in complete secrecy. Even Daimler’s family and domestic staff had no idea of what was going on in the greenhouse. A suspicious gardener even called the police, believing that the greenhouse was a money-counterfeiting workshop.

It was to everyone’s great surprise that the police found nothing but tools and engine components in a night-time search. From then on, Daimler and Maybach were left alone to continue their work.

Taking Nicolaus Otto`s internal combustion engine idea a step further, Daimler and Maybach created a high-speed, horizontal test engine featuring a hot-tube ignition system in 1883.

In April 1885, Gottlieb Daimler patented what is generally recognized as the prototype of the modern gas engine. The so-called "grandfather clock" had an enclosed crankcase on which the air-cooled cylinder was mounted in an upright position. Weighing a mere 60 kilograms (132 lbs), the single-cylinder engine had a displacement of 264 cubic centimeters and developed an output of 0.37 kW (0.5 hp) at 650 rpm.

The intake valve operated automatically, and the exhaust valve was actuated by curved groove control in the flywheel.

Thanks to its comparative low weight and compact dimensions, this motor was suitable for installation into vehicles.

Daimler then built what is considered by many the first gasoline powered motorcycle. This engine with workable controls was installed in a two-wheeled wooden frame as a proof of concept testbed.
They called it the 'Reitwagen' or a two-wheeled 'riding carriage'. Also known as an 'Einspur' or 'single track', it featured two additional spring mounted outrigger wheels which were added for balance. It may have also included a spray-type carburetor, then under development for use in the Daimler automobile.

On November 10th 1885 Daimler’s son Paul, 17, completed the first run on the motorcycle from Cannstatt to Unterturkheim and back (about eight miles). Given the conditions of roads at the time, it could hardly have been a comfortable journey. However, the only problem encountered was that the heat of the engine set fire to the saddle.

Daimler and Maybach worked on improving their motors,
building single, V twin and four cylinder types, fitting these into carriages, airships, and boats.

After Daimlers death in 1900, Maybach began work on what would become the Mercedes.

The original 1885 Reitwagen motorcycle was lost in the factory fire at Cannstatt in 1903. The production facilities along with ninety vehicles, including three race cars were destroyed.

 


Gotlieb Daimler

The Reitwagen replica----William Eggers----1885 Daimler home----1887 Roper Steam Velocipede

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