Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Automobile

As we enter the second decade of the 21st century the lifespan of the automobile, in its current gas-guzzling form which, it has to be said has served us well, must be nearing its end. Fossil fuels have brought us this far. It now becomes a challenge for today's younger generation to find replacement fuels or some new, revolutionary technology to take the place of oil, coal and natural gas. As we drive towards such future change, I'll take a look into the rear-view mirror.
"3 April 1885 – Gottlieb Daimler is granted a German patent for his engine design."
There was a definite atmosphere of innovation around in the late 1800s, especially evident in German engineering. Daimler was not the only engineer/inventor working on designs which would later evolve into the vehicles which now clog our highways. Several engineers were working on broadly similar projects - unknown to one another: Otto, Maybach, Benz for example.

Two of these, Daimler and Maybach, did join forces. A look at their nicely compatible natal charts supports that part of astrological doctrine which states that Aquarius and Uranus strongly connect to innovation and invention. Gottlieb Daimler was born on 17 March 1834 in Schorndorf, Germany. Wilhelm Maybach was born on 9 February 1846 in Heilbronn, Germany. Background information taken from here:
Reutlingen in the summer of 1865: the 31-year-old engineer Gottlieb Daimler is the workshop manager within the engineering works of the "Bruderhaus", a social institute with adjoining production facilities built and run by orphans and the homeless for orphans and the homeless. Out of the young adults who work there, his attention is caught by a 19-year-old with a sparkling talent for drawing, who produces an endless stream of design drafts in the factory's own design offices: designs for paper manufacturing machines, for scales, as well as for all manner of farming implements. His name is Wilhelm Maybach.

The two soon form a close bond: the younger Maybach, who was tragically orphaned when aged only ten, sees an inspirational father figure in Daimler, a much travelled man who is well versed in the ways of the world. The older man, on the other hand, immediately recognises Maybach's potential as a designer. This marks the beginning of a partnership that will continue for many years.......................

Following Gottlieb Daimler's purchase in 1882 of a large property in Cannstatt, still an autonomous municipality close to Stuttgart at that time, he and Wilhelm Maybach set up their workshop in the garden shed that made up part of the property. Both worked tirelessly day and night to redevelop the fast-running four-stroke engine, and devise numerous inventions, such as the hot-tube ignition system.
The charts are set for 12 noon as times of birth are not known. Moon's exact position and rising signs will not be accurate as shown here. Stand-out factors here are the planets in Aquarius and the position of Uranus. Of the two men I'd say that Mayback was the "born inventor" - he had Sun conjunct Saturn and Neptune as well as Mercury all in Aquarius. Uranus in Aries in helpful sextile to Mercury providing a mental orientation in tune with all that was new.

Mars conjunct Jupiter in Taurus were in square aspect to Mercury though - keeping Maybach's feet firmly tethered to Mother Earth. The direction of his inventive genius and subsequent business successes reflect this.

Daimler had Neptune, and Mars conjunct Uranus, all in Aquarius (Uranus being Aquarius's ruler was here present in its purest form).

Mars conjunct Uranus in Daimler's chart conjoins the Aquarius stellium of Sun/Saturn/Neptune in Maybach's! Here is the reason they could collaborate so well for so long. Another point of similarity: they were born 12 years apart, the approximate time it takes for Jupiter to complete its cycle - so both men had natal Jupiter in early Taurus, Daimler at 6 degrees, Maybach at 4 degrees.

Also, Daimler's 00 degree Aquarius Neptune conjoined Maybach's 2 degree Aquarius Mercury blending their creative mentalities.

A couple of sidelights noted along the way: one about the origin of the name Mercedes, as in Mercedes-Benz (see here).
When Daimler died, he left control of his company to his chief engineer Wilhelm Mayback...... By November 22 of that year, Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschat had produced a special car for Emil Jellinek. Jellinek named the car after his ten-year-old daughter Mercedes. Lighter and smaller, the new Mercedes had 35 hp and a top speed of 55 mph!

And the now world-famous "star" logo:
When the patented name "Mercedes" was registered in September 1902 Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft had a successful brand name but still lacked a characteristic trademark. Then Paul and Adolf Daimler - the company founder’s two sons, and now in charge of the business - remembered that their father had once used a star as a symbol.

Gottlieb Daimler had been technical director of the Deutz gas engine factory from 1872 until 1881. At the beginning of his employment there, he had marked a star above his own house on a picture postcard of Cologne and Deutz, and had written to his wife that this star would one day shine over his own factory to symbolize prosperity. The DMG board immediately accepted the proposal and in June 1909, both three-pointed and four-pointed stars were registered as trademarks. (Here.)
They say one should always end with a song.... cue Janis....


Gian Paul said...

Very nice post indeed, Twilight. My idea is a bit different from the current concept that hybrid cars are the future.

I mentioned that on various occasions in your blog. The immediate future, next 20 years, is Diesel (another German inventor).

If one manages to compress more, inject more oxygen (even pre-compressed?) the output could be very "competitive".

Porche now has a Diesel-Porche running which beats their Hybrid.

PS. am starting to suspect you being "umbilically" looking up the horoscopes of interesting Aquarians, you being yourself an outstanding example - LOL

Twilight said...

Gian Paul ~~~ thank you!

Your suggestion sounds reasonable, GP. Changes do come around in stages, and very slowly unless brought on by some calamity or other.

No - lol! I'm not cherry picking Aquarius-types. I've had this post in draft for weeks. I was drawn to write it back at the beginning of April when Wikipedia's lists of events for - 3 April - gave the info about the patent as mentioned at the beginning of the post. I thought it'd be an interesting study to look at the natal charts and compare them. :-)

Wisewebwoman said...

And to end your post with the great Janis, I love love love that song. Very interesting history of the men and the automobile.
I often wonder what it would have looked like if women had been given the chance to invent it.
More of the feminine in our everyday, I say.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Thank you!

I'm not a fan of Janis's singing in general but love this one song. I've seen recordings of interviews she did on the Dick Cavett show years ago though, and did like her a lot in those interviews.

Lol - yes, what would our cars be and look like now, had they had more female input into the designs from the start? - Interesting idea to comtemplate!

Gian Paul said...

Just for fun: cars designed by women probably would have some air cushions in front and on the back instead of bumpers. Easy to experiment. Can even fix cushions on top of existing bumpers!

Twilight said...

Gian Paul ~ Comfort and safety would be high on the list of requirements - far above speed and power.

In body design I think the Italians (patriarchal as they may still be) have the most developed feminine side where art and design are concerned. Germans went for practicality first I guess - but then they had originally to give their whole attention to getting the darn machine to function....we have to give them thumbs up for that.

Andrew said...

Great post, but for the future i am not sure how much is it relevant as they are now trying to change everything that car would have an electric engine so diesel is gonna be out of date.

James Higham said...

The days of Steppenwolf appear to be upon us.

Twilight said...

Andrew ~~ I think that eventually (decades from now) there'll be some new fuel we can't even begin to imagine. Until then we're stuck with juggling with what we know and what is available.

Electricity, as produced these days, will be on much the same downward spiral as the gas guzzlers before very long.


Twilight said...

James Higham ~~ Not sure I follow. I'll have to echo Francis Urquhart:
"You might well think that; I couldn't possibly comment".