On 21 June 1905, Carl and Bertha Benz acquired the estate on plot no. 4180 in Ladenburg, just a few steps from the river Neckar, at the proud price of 48,500 goldmarks. Carl Benz lived here until his death on 4 April 1929 and his wife Bertha until her death on 5 May 1944.
In the park belonging to his house, Carl Benz had what was probably the world’s first garage built in the style of a fortified tower. This is where he accommodated his Benz “Victoria”; in a room above the garage, he was able to engage in his engineering work in all peace and quiet.
Carl Benz had the house converted twice. In 1921, a porch with a flat roof was added. A few years later, the house acquired its current shape when an extension across the entire gable side increased the living area by almost one third. The descendants of Carl and Bertha Benz lived in this house until 1969 when it became the property of the town of Ladenburg. In 1985, the house was acquired by what was Daimler-Benz AG.
After extensive restoration work, an exhibition was set up in the rooms facing the garden, dedicated above all to the engineering achievements of Carl Benz. Here demonstration models of his most important inventions can be found: the axle pivot steering, the electric ignition with spark plug and the surface carburettor. Reproductions of the Benz Patent Motor Car and his workbench as well as personal keepsakes provide lively memories of the great automotive pioneer.
Today, the Karl Benz House serves first and foremost as headquarters and meeting venue of the “Gottlieb Daimler- und Karl Benz-Stiftung” which was founded in 1986 as a legally independent foundation to mark the 100th anniversary of the automobile. In keeping with the fundamental changes initiated by the inventions of Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, the foundation has set itself the task of promoting science and research for explaining the interrelations between human beings, the environment and technology. It primarily supports interdisciplinary research in these fields.
The foundation is funded by the proceeds of the asset endowed by the former Daimler-Benz AG and today’s Daimler AG.
Funding activities focus on:
Ladenburg Discourse: interdisciplinary, international discussions on the interrelations between human beings, the environment and technology
Ladenburg Lectures: funding of interdisciplinary research projects
Bertha Benz Lectures: presentations by renowned female scientists
Promotion of young scientists
International cooperation in science
Dr. h.c. Carl Friedrich Benz, 1844 – 1929
1844 Born in Karlsruhe on 25 November
1853 Grammar school in Karlsruhe
1860 Studies at the Karlsruhe Polytechnic
1864 Fitter at a mechanical engineering factory in Karlsruhe
1866 Draftsman and design engineer at Messrs. Schweizer in Mannheim
1868 Design engineer at Messrs. Benckiser in Pforzheim
1871 Foundation of Carl Benz and August Ritter, Mechanical Workshops in Mannheim
1872 Company renamed into Karl Benz Mannheim, Iron Foundry and Mechanical Workshop, Wedding with Bertha Ringer
1878 Start of work on the two-stroke engine, first operation on New Year’s Eve 1879
1882 Company renamed into Mannheim Gas Engine Factory Carl Benz withdraws from the company shortly afterwards
1883 Foundation of Benz & Cie, Mannheim Gas Engine Factory in October
1886 29 January: Carl Benz applies for a patent for his three-wheeled vehicle with gas engine drive
3 July: first public outing with the “three-wheeler” in Mannheim
1893 First motorised Benz four-wheeler (Benz Victoria) with axle pivot steering
1903 Benz withdraws from the management of Benz & Cie
1905 Move to Ladenburg
1906 Foundation of Carl Benz Söhne (Carl Benz & Sons) in Ladenburg
1904 – 1926 Member of the supervisory board of Benz & Cie
1912 Withdrawal as a partner of Carl Benz Söhne
1914 Honorary doctorate from Karlsruhe Technical University
1926 – 1929 Member of the supervisory board of Daimler-Benz AG
1928 Award of the Baden State Medal
1929 Carl Benz dies in Ladenburg on 4 April
Gottlieb Daimler- und Karl Benz-Stiftung (Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz Foundation) Dr.-Carl-Benz-Platz 2
Phone: +49 (0) 62 03-10 92-0, fax: +49 (0) 62 03-10 92-5
mailto: info@ daimler-benz-stiftung.de
Opening hours: Sunday from 2.30 p.m. until 5.30 p.m.
Phone: +49 (0) 62 03/1 59 24 (only during opening hours)
Source: Daimler AG