Today in History: Mercedes becomes a registered brand name in 1902
114 years ago today, German automobile manufacturer Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) registered “Mercedes” as a brand name (gaining full legal protection in September). The name was born out of a partnership between DMG founder, Gottlieb Daimler, and Austrian diplomat, Emil Jellinek, who ran a profitable business selling luxury cars. Jellinek had ordered cars from Daimler in the late 1890s and sold them to high society customers. But he also used them in racing events, entering them using the pseudonym “Mercedes,” the name of his elder daughter. In 1900, Jellinek entered an agreement with DMG to sell a new line of 4-cylinder automobiles suggesting they be called Mercedes. The first Mercedes was delivered in December of 1900: it had 35 hp, featured a steel chassis with a long wheelbase, an electric ignition system and a speed of 53 mph/85 kmh – the birth of the first modern automobile. The new car amazed the automobile world. Sales went through the roof and the Mercedes era had begun.