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January 06, 1989 - Image 72

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-01-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

AUTO

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First Auto Invented By Jew,
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PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

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A

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Not Chopped Liver

Jewish News readers plan to spend
more than $125 million for new cars in 1989.

Source: 1988 Scarborough-Jewish News Study

A-18

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 1989

Jew was- the inventor
of the first auto-
mobile. He was an
Austrian Jew whose great gift
to mankind merits recalling.
First, however, it is
necessary to cite some nota-
tions in the automobile in:
dustry in Detroit.
Had he succeeded, the late
Bernard Gisnbrug wold have
been among the historic per-
sonalities in auto making. He
manufactured a small truck
in the early part of this cen-
tury. He did not have the
means to carry on and the
undertaking failed.
A. Edward Barit was presi-
dent of Hudson Motor Co. But
he had not begun on the
bench as the Fisher brothers
and Henry Ford did, and his
role was primarily in the
commercial-distributive
ranks from which he rose to
the Hudson presidency.
Similarly, the late Meyer L.
Prentis, who was treasurer of
General Motors, had risen
from the accountancy and
bookkeeping ranks.
There have been Jews in
the engineering departments
of major automotive manufac-
turing plants. One very pro-
minent physician, Dr. Jacob
Goldman, rose to the rank of
a Ford Motor Co. vice
president.
Among the high ranking
Jewish personalities in the
auto industry who received
dur recognition for merit but
did not rise to an official post
was the late Samuel N.
Heyman, the Jerusalem-born,
MIT graduate, who was near
the top but not the chief
engineer of the Fisher Body
Corp.
In the early days of Henry
Ford Sr. there were Jewish
newcomers to Detroit who
became devotedly associated
with the Ford Motor Co. Some
were very loyal to Henry Ford
Sr.
The Jewish inventor of the
first automobile was Siegfried
Marcus.
Born in Mecklenburg, Ger-
many, in 1831, Siegfried
worked as a mechanic for
Siemens and Halske in
Berlin, until he moved to
Vienna in 1852. His inven-
tions included a mechanism
for the discharge of deep-sea
mines, by electricity, the ther-
mos flask, telegraph relays
and scores of other articles.
His first benzine-driven car
was patented in 1864. His se-

cond and improved car was
completed in 1875, when he
drove it on Vienna's streets.
His auto patents were
registered in Germany and
the town council of Mecklen-
burg honored the inventor by
affixing a tablet to the house
in which- he was born.

Some of the available
records state that his 1875
automobile was preserved in
the Vienna Insdustrial
Museum.
When the firm of Siemens
and Halske engaged in
establishing the first
telegraphic communication
between Berlin and
Magdeburg in 1848, Marcus
contribued a number of im-
provements to the develop-
ment of the telegraph.
In 1860, he set up his own
laboratory in Vienna. His
creativeness had led him to
the development and paten-
ting of an electric lamp in
1877. He perfected a loud
speaker microphone.
It is believed that had he
been less versatile and had he
concentrated on the
automobile, rather than
spreading out his wings as an
inventor in many directions,
his name would have gone
down in history as the
greatest perfector of the
automobile.
He is known to have had 38
patents in Austria alone, and
76 in a dozen other countries.
The Austrian Academy of
Sciences awarded him a gold
medal.
A prize of 2,500 gulden,
awarded Marcus for the in-
vention of the thermos pillar
by the Imperial and Royal
Academy of Sciences, and the
purchase of the telegraph
relay by the Austrian postal
authorities, indicate that the
eminent Jewish inventor of
the last century was well pro-
vided for.
However, he was not com-
pensated for many of his
other inventions, including
the electric lamp.
Siegfried Marcus, as the in-
ventor of the automobile, suc-
ceeded numerous others who
had attempted to introduce
the motor vehicle to the
world.
Jean Lenoir made a gas
motor vehicle in 1860 and
took a trip in it two years
later. However, the gas had to
be carried in a separate
container.
Marcus, on the other hand,
solved the major automobile
problems by using gasoline as
fuel, by producing the mix-

ture of gasoline vapor and air
within the motor, and by in-
troducing electro-magnetic
ignition.
He called the mixture of
gasoline and air "carbureted
air," and his first machine,
which he made in 1864,
became the forerunner of our
modern automobile. The pa-
tent for his electro-magnetic
ignitor was awarded to Mar-
cus on June 21, 1864.
The "first Marcuscar" is
the name by which this first
vehicle was referred to. It was
an expensive experiment,
because gasoline had to be
imported from. German phar
macies at a high price.
We are told that the first
Marcus automobile succeeded
in completing a trial run of
200 meters.
The second Marcuscar was
greatly advanced, succeeding
in vaporizing gasoline by
rotating atomizers, and
traveling long distances.
It covered 12 kilometers,
and made several sensational
trips which attracted atten-
tion. However., the police
finally prohibited its tours
because its iron wheels made
a loud racket.
Three copies of the 1875
Marcuscar model were built
— one in Marcus' shop and
the other two in Blansko,
Czechoslovakia, in the iron
factories of Prince Salm. The
latter carefully followed Mar-
cus. sketches.
In a sense, Marcus was
shortsighted in his outlook
for the future. When he was
asked to go to Blansko to
perfect his invention, he
refused, being totally
satisfied that he had sovled
the technical problems of the
automobile.
The Austrian Automobile
Club bought the Blansko-
made automobile and gave it
a place of honor in the Vien-
na Thchnological Museum.
Two German inventors,
Daimler and Benz, in later
years perfected automobiles.
But it is generally conceded
that the Marcus car was
superior to theirs, and it is
not known whether the Ger-
mans were influenced by the
Jewish automobile creator.
In any event, it was Marcus
who first solved the problem
of the internal combustion
engine on the principle of two
and four cycles.
A statue in honor of
Siegfried Marcus, who died in
1898, was erected in front of
the Technological University
in Vienna.
Copyright 1975, JTA, Inc.

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