1885: Daimler Reitwagen – Stuttgart, Germany
Invention: Daimler Reitwagen
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Inventors: Gottlieb Daimler & Wilhelm Maybach
Patented: 3 April 1885
Innovation Genre: Transportation
Innovation Aspect: First Petroleum-Powered Engine
Although this isn’t the first motorcycle – 3 predecessor steam motorcycle, this was the first gasoline internal combustion motorcycle. Daimler recruited his employee, Maybach, to work with him in a garden shed converted to an experimental workshop in 1882. Together they created this single-cylinder engine. Their original intention was to place this engine in a full-sized carriage, but it was not powerful enough to power the vehicle. Daimler’s 17-year-old son was the first to test the motorcycle in November 18, 1885. It put out half of a horsepower at 600 rpm giving it a speed of 7 miles per hour. The seat also caught on fire from the ride. By 1886 the Reitwagen was abandoned for a four-wheeled version.
This innovation was the first transition from stem power machines to petroleum powered machines. Although the innovation had little impact during its time, it led to modern transportation of building materials, workers, and architects/engineers to the structures site.