On This Day, Jan. 29, 1886 – Karl Benz Patents First Gas-Powered Car
1886 – The first successful petrol-driven motorcar, built by Karl Benz, was patented.
Benz’s lifelong hobby brought him to a bicycle repair shop in Mannheim owned by Max Rose and Friedrich Wilhelm Eßlinger. In 1883, the three founded a new company producing industrial machines: Benz & Company Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik, usually referred to as, Benz & Cie. Quickly growing to twenty-five employees, it soon began to produce static gas engines as well.
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. Power was transmitted by means of two roller chains to the rear axle. Karl Benz finished his creation in 1885 and named it the 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 Motorwagen was patented on January 29, 1886 as DRP-37435: “automobile fueled by gas”. The 1885 version was difficult to control, leading to a collision with a wall during a public demonstration. The first successful tests on public roads were carried out in the early summer of 1886. The next year Benz created the Motorwagen Model 2, which had several modifications, and in 1887, 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 the Benz Patent Motorwagen) in the late summer of 1888, making it the first commercially available automobile in history.
1728 – John Gay’s “The Beggar’s Opera” was first performed at Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre, London.
1802 – John Beckley became the first Librarian of Congress.
1820 – Britain’s King George III died insane at Windsor Castle.
1845 – Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” was published for the first time in the “New York Evening Mirror.”
1848 – Greenwich Mean Time was adopted by Scotland.
1850 – Henry Clay introduced in the Senate a compromise bill on slavery that included the admission of California into the Union as a free state.
1856 – Britain’s highest military decoration, the Victoria Cross, was founded by Queen Victoria.
1861 – In America, Kansas became the 34th state of the Union.
1916 – In World War I, Paris was bombed by German zeppelins for the first time.
1924 – R. Taylor patented the ice cream cone rolling machine.
1936 – The first members of Major League Baseball‘s Hall of Fame were named in Cooperstown, NY.
National Baseball Hall of Fame – 1939
Honus Wagner – Pittsburgh Pirates – Elected 1936′; Grover Cleveland Alexander – Philadelphia Phillies – Elected 1938; Tris Speaker – Cleveland Indians – Elected 1937; Nap Lajoie – Cleveland Indians – Elected 1937; George Sisler – St. Louis Browns – Elected 1939; Walter Johnson – Washington Senators – Elected 1936; Eddie Collins – Chicago White Sox – Elected 1939; Babe Ruth – New York Yankees – Elected 1936; Connie Mack – Philadelphia Athletics – Elected 1937;Cy Young – Boston Red Sox – Elected 1937
1940 – The W. Atlee Burpee Seed Company displayed the first tetraploid flowers at the New York City Flower Show.
1949 – “The Newport News” was commissioned as the first air-conditioned naval ship in Virginia.
1958 – Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were married.
1963 – Britain was refused entry into the EEC.
1979 – President James Carter formally welcomed Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping to the White House. The visit followed the establishment of diplomatic relations.a
1987 – “Physician’s Weekly” announced that the smile on the face of Leonardo DeVinci’s Mona Lisa was caused by a “…facial paralysis resulting from a swollen nerve behind the ear.”
1990 – Joseph Hazelwood, the former skipper of the Exxon Valdez, went on trial in Anchorage, AK, on charges that stemmed from America’s worst oil spill. Hazelwood was later acquitted of all the major charges and was convicted of a misdemeanor.
1995 – The San Francisco 49ers became the first team in NFL history to win five Super Bowl titles. The 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers 49-26.
1997 – America Online agreed to give refunds to frustrated customers under threat of lawsuits across the country. Customers were unable to log on after AOL offered a flat $19.95-a-month rate.
1998 – A bomb exploded at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, AL, killing an off-duty policeman and severely wounding a nurse. Eric Rudolph was charged with this bombing and three other attacks in Atlanta.
1999 – The U.S. Senate delivered subpoenas for Monica Lewinsky and two presidential advisers for private, videotaped testimony in the impeachment trial.
Source: On-This-day.com; Wikipedia.org