130 years of the automobile

It was the document that set the world in motion: on 29 January 1886, Carl Benz applied for a patent on his “gas-powered vehicle”. This was the day the automobile was born. Later the same year, independently of Benz, Gottlieb Daimler built his motorised carriage. Thus it was that 1886 marked the beginning of the so far 130-year-long success story of Mercedes-Benz.

Stuttgart. The birth certificate of the automobile bears the number DRP 37435. For that was the reference under which the patent on a “gas-powered vehicle” filed by the Mannheim engineer Carl Benz on 29 January 1886 was registered with the German Imperial Patent Office in Berlin. The 130-year-old document is testimony to Carl Benz’s innovative spirit, creative power and entrepreneurial vision. Since 2011, the patent document has been part of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme, which also includes the Gutenberg Bible, the Magna Carta and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B Minor.