January 29, 1886 – The automobile is patented

Karl Benz was an inventive genius, receiving patents for a variety of parts used with internal combustion engines, including spark plugs, the carburetor, the clutch and gear shift, and the water radiator. When he applied for a patent on this day in 1886 it wasn’t for a single part, or even an engine, but for the automobile. The Benz Patent-Motorwagen received patent number 37435. This three wheeled, single cylinder vehicle is widely regarded as the first automobile as it was the first vehicle designed to be powered by an internal combustion chamber. The Patent-Motorwagen was revealed to the public on July 3, 1886 on the Ringstrasse in Mannheim, Germany. The following August, Karl’s wife Bertha, who financed the project, took one of the vehicles for the first cross country journey in an automobile, all without telling her husband, in a grand publicity stunt. Approximately 25 of the vehicles were built between 1886 and 1893. The Benz Patent-Motorwagen Nr. 3 of 1888, used by Bertha Benz for the first long distance journey by automobile (more than 96 km or sixty miles)Close up of the engine an exact replica of the Benz Patent-MotorwagenOverview of Benz Patent-Motorwagen

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