Auto pioneer Gottlieb Daimler born - Mar 17, 1834 - HISTORY.com

Gottlieb Daimler, who in 1890 founded an engine and car company bearing his name, is born in Schorndorf, Germany, on this day in 1834.

As a teenager, Daimler apprenticed to become a gunsmith and later moved into mechanical engineering. In 1885, he met Wilhelm Maybach (1846-1929) and the two developed a new, efficient version of the four-stroke engine internal-combustion engine. (Nikolaus Otto is credited with inventing the first functioning four-stroke engine.) Daimler and Maybach attached their engine to a wooden bicycle, creating what has been referred to as the world’s first motorcycle. In 1886, they fit their engine to a carriage, creating a four-wheel, motorized vehicle. In 1890, Daimler founded the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft company, with Maybach serving as technical director. The company built automobiles and engines for a variety of vehicles.