28 August 2011

Mercedes-Benz Museum

The shops may be closed on Sundays, but it seemed that one half of Germany was out and about on their bicycles, and the other half joined us at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.

I'll start with the first confession: we couldn't make it all the way through this museum. It's really long. But this is not to say that it's boring; it's probably the best museum I've ever been to. We'll definitely go back and do the second half some other time.

Here are some random interesting facts...

Karl Benz was supported greatly by his wife Bertha Benz, both financially and with the nitty-gritty of developing and improving his invention.

Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler both worked on automobile inventions at the same time, but never met each other. Benz focused on engines and cars, whereas Daimler wanted to power every kind of vehicle, including boats and aeroplanes. Daimler worked closely with Wilhelm Maybach.

The placing of the steering wheel moved from centre, to the outer side of the road to see the side better, to the inner side of the road to see oncoming traffic better. The placing of the pedals was random for quite some time and standardised much later.

The adoption of the automobile gave rise to tourism as we know it today, and the economies of some places became based on this industry.

The Mercedes brand was named after the daughter of businessman Emil Jellinek, a rather interesting character—...when he was 17, his parents found him a job as a clerk in a Moravian railway company, [where he] lasted two years ... before being sacked when the management discovered that he had been organising train races late at night.

The shape of the car had to evolve from something that was a copy of a horse carriage to the longer and lower shape we know today in order to improve steering and safety.

...and much much more. To be continued I guess!

The second and final confession is that there are way too many pictures in this slideshow.

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