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On This Day In History: Emil Jellinek-Mercedes Is Born in 1853 in a quaint German city, Leipzig.



As a successful entrepreneur in the 1890s, Jellinek began buying and selling Daimler Phoenix cars to his wealthiest friends and associates.


The motorized carriages were considered to be the world’s first road vehicle, equipped with a four-cylinder engine.

Jellinek raced cars and persuaded Daimler to produce faster and more powerful vehicles. A Daimler Phoenix was also the first automobile entered in a race by Emil, under the pseudonym of “Mercedes.”

By 1900, Jellinek commissioned engineer Wilhelm Maybach to design the first Mercedes automobile, named after Jellinek’s daughter.

Wilhelm Maybach
Wilhelm Maybach
Mércédès Jellinek
Mércédès Jellinek

The first car was delivered to Emil in December 1900 and shortly after he began racing it in Nice, France. He flattened the competition on race days and helped establish Mercedes’ rep on the track – reliable and high performance.

Two years after the “world’s first modern car” was mass produced, the Mercedes name was trademarked and legally added to Emil’s last name.

“This is probably the first time that a father has taken his daughter’s name.” From then on, he signed himself E.J. Mercédès.

At the age of 64, Emil Jellinek-Mercedes passed away on January 21, 1918. In 1926 the company merged with Benz & Cie., which was founded by Karl Benz – a German engineer.

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