Despite living in near poverty, his mother strove to give him a good education. Benz attended the local Grammar School in Karlsruhe and was a prodigious student. In , at the age of nine he started at the scientifically oriented Lyceum. Benz had originally focused his studies on locksmithing , but he eventually followed his father's steps toward locomotive engineering.
On 30 September , at age 15, he passed the entrance exam for mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe , which he subsequently attended. Benz graduated 9 July aged Following his formal education, Benz had seven years of professional training in several companies, but did not fit well in any of them.
The training started in Karlsruhe with two years of varied jobs in a mechanical engineering company. He then moved to Mannheim to work as a draftsman and designer in a scales factory. Finally, he went to Vienna for a short period to work at an iron construction company. The enterprise's first year went very badly.
Ritter turned out to be unreliable, and the business's tools were impounded.
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Despite the business misfortunes, Karl Benz led in the development of new engines in the early factory he and his wife owned. To get more revenues, in he began to work on new patents. First, he concentrated all his efforts on creating a reliable petrol two-stroke engine. Benz finished his two-stroke engine on 31 December , New Year's Eve, and was granted a patent for it in 28 June Karl Benz showed his real genius, however, through his successive inventions registered while designing what would become the production standard for his two-stroke engine.
Benz soon patented the speed regulation system, the ignition using sparks with battery , the spark plug , the carburetor , the clutch , the gear shift , and the water radiator. Problems arose again when the banks at Mannheim demanded that Bertha and Karl Benz's enterprise be incorporated due to the high production costs it maintained.
The company became the joint-stock company Gasmotoren Fabrik Mannheim in After all the necessary incorporation agreements, Benz was unhappy because he was left with merely five percent of the shares and a modest position as director. Worst of all, his ideas weren't considered when designing new products, so he withdrew from that corporation just one year later, in Quickly growing to twenty-five employees, it soon began to produce static gas engines as well.
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The success of the company gave Benz the opportunity to indulge in his old passion of designing a horseless carriage. Based on his experience with, and fondness for, bicycles, he used similar technology when he created an automobile. It featured wire wheels unlike carriages' wooden ones  with a four-stroke engine of his own design between the rear wheels, with a very advanced coil ignition  and evaporative cooling rather than a radiator.
Karl Benz finished his creation in and named it " Benz Patent Motorwagen ". It was the first automobile entirely designed as such to generate its own power, not simply a motorized stage coach or horse carriage, which is why Karl Benz was granted his patent and is regarded as its inventor. The first successful tests on public roads were carried out in the early summer of The next year Benz created the Motorwagen Model 2, which had several modifications, and in , the definitive Model 3 with wooden wheels was introduced, showing at the Paris Expo the same year.
Benz began to sell the vehicle advertising it as " Benz Patent Motorwagen " in the late summer of , making it the first commercially available automobile in history. The second customer of the Motorwagen was a Parisian bicycle manufacturer  Emile Roger , who had already been building Benz engines under license from Karl Benz for several years.
Roger added the Benz automobiles many built in France to the line he carried in Paris and initially most were sold there. The early version of the Motorwagen had no gears and could not climb hills unaided.
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This limitation was rectified after Bertha Benz made her famous trip driving one of the vehicles a great distance and suggested to her husband the addition of brake linings to act as brake pads. In addition to having to locate pharmacies on the way to fuel up, she repaired various technical and mechanical problems and invented brake lining.
After some longer downhill slopes, she ordered a shoemaker to nail leather on the brake blocks. Bertha Benz and sons finally arrived at nightfall, announcing the achievement to Karl by telegram. It had been her intention to demonstrate the feasibility of using the Benz Motorwagen for travel and to generate publicity in the manner now referred to as live marketing. Today, the event is celebrated every two years in Germany with an antique automobile rally. In , the Bertha Benz Memorial Route  was officially approved as a route of industrial heritage of mankind, because it follows Bertha Benz's tracks of the world's first long-distance journey by automobile in The return trip, which didn't go through Heidelberg, was along a different, slightly shorter, itinerary, as shown on the maps of the Bertha Benz Memorial Route.
Benz's Model 3 made its wide-scale debut to the world in the World's Fair in Paris; about twenty-five Motorwagens were built between and The great demand for stationary, static internal combustion engines forced Karl Benz to enlarge the factory in Mannheim, and in a new building located on Waldhofstrasse operating until was added.
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During the last years of the nineteenth century, Benz was the largest automobile company in the world with units produced in The new directors recommended that Benz should create a less expensive automobile suitable for mass production. In , Karl Benz created the Victoria , a two-passenger automobile with a 2. The model was successful with 85 units sold in In , Benz designed the first truck with an internal combustion engine in history.
Benz also built the first motor buses in history in , for the Netphener bus company. In , Karl Benz was granted a patent for his design of the first flat engine. It had horizontally opposed pistons , a design in which the corresponding pistons reach top dead centre simultaneously, thus balancing each other with respect to momentum. Flat engines with four or fewer cylinders are most commonly called boxer engines, boxermotor in German, and also are known as horizontally opposed engines.
This design is still used by Porsche , Subaru , and some high performance engines used in racing cars. The engine was built to the specifications of Emil Jellinek under a contract for him to purchase thirty-six vehicles with the engine, and for him to become a dealer of the special series. Jellinek stipulated the new engine be named Daimler- Mercedes for his daughter. Maybach would quit DMG in , but he designed the model and all of the important changes.
After testing, the first was delivered to Jellinek on 22 December Jellinek continued to make suggestions for changes to the model and obtained good results racing the automobile in the next few years, encouraging DMG to engage in commercial production of automobiles, which they did in Then, without consulting Benz, the other directors hired some French designers. Sign up for the Biography newsletter to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives. German philosopher and revolutionary socialist Karl Marx published The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, anticapitalist works that form the basis of Marxism.
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