Siegfried Marcus

Infobox Engineer

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caption = Siegfried Marcus 1831-1898
nationality = German
birth_date = September 18, 1831
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death_date = July 1, 1898
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Siegfried Samuel Marcus (September 18, 1831 – July 1, 1898) was a German-born Austrian inventor and automobile pioneer.

Marcus was born in Malchin in Mecklenburg-Schwerin. He moved to Vienna, the capital of the Austrian Empire, in 1852.

From 1856 to 1898 he worked as a self-employed manufacturer of scientific instruments in this city. He developed an interest in electricity and as a lighting technician too. His chief improvements include telegraph systems and ignition devices.

Ca. 1870 he put an internal combustion engine on a simple handcart. This appliance was designed for liquid combustibles and made him the first man propelling a vehicle by means of gasoline. Today, this car is well known as “The first Marcus Car”.

In 1883 a patent for a low voltage ignition of the magneto type was given to Marcus in Germany. This design was used for all further engines and, of course, the famous “Second Marcus Car” of 1888/89. It was this ignition in conjunction with the “rotating brush carburettor” that made the “Second Car”'s design very innovative.

In 1887, Marcus started a co-operation with the Moravian company Märky, Bromovsky & Schulz. They offered two stroke and — after the fall of the Otto-Patent in 1886 — four stroke engines of the Marcus type.

In 1888-89 Märky, Bromovsky & Schulz built the “Second Marcus Car”, which can still be admired in Vienna's Technical Museum. This car made Marcus well-known all over the world. For a long time it was a common understanding that the “Second Car” was already existing in 1875 — even today a widespread falsity. “It was uncertain for a long time whether his car was ready to drive already in 1875 or only in 1888/89. Today the later date is considered for sure.” (transl., Austria Lexicon, Vol. 2, Vienna 2004; Österreich Lexikon, Bd. 2, Wien 2004) There is not even one single proof for an origin prior to 1888/89.

Marcus was the holder of 131 patents in 16 countries. He never applied for a patent for the motorcar and, of course, he never held one. In addition, he never claimed having invented the motorcar. Nevertheless, he was the first man who used gasoline for propelling a vehicle in the simple handcart of 1870 (First Marcus Car). But it is not sure if the famous Second Marcus Car ever ran before 1890.

Marcus was buried at the Protestant Cemetery at Hütteldorf, Vienna. Later, his remains were transferred to an “Honorary Tomb” of Vienna's Central Cemetery.

Because of Marcus’ Jewish ancestry his name and all memorabilia vanished under the Nazis. The memorial in front of the Vienna Technical University was removed. After the war, the monument was rebuilt. In 1950, the Second Marcus Car has undergone a major restoration.


This information is out of the newest scientific Publications of German and Austrian Historians (all in German):

*Ursula Bürbaumer, „Das erste Auto der Welt?“, Wien 1998, Erasmus Verlag.
*Horst Hardenberg, “Siegfried Marcus, Mythos und Wirklichkeit”, aus der Wissenschaftlichen *Schriftenreihe des DaimlerChrysler Konzernarchivs, Bielefeld 2000, Delius & Klasing Verlag.
* Norbert Böttcher, "Siegfried Marcus", Teetz 2005, Hentrich & Hentrich Verlag.
*Ursula Bürbaumer, Johannes Steinböck, Horst Hardenberg, Gerhard Schaukal und Ladislav Mergl), in Helmuth Grössing (Herausgeber) “Autos-Fahrer – Konstrukteure”, Wien 2000, Erasmus Verlag.
*Austrian Research Centers, Dissertationsdatenbank, Bürbaumer Ursula, Siegfried Marcus in Wien, 2003, Internet.

Hardenberg’s book (Horst Hardenberg, “Siegfried Marcus, Mythos und Wirklichkeit”) was awarded by the Austrian Academy of Science in 2001 as “Book of the month June 2001”.

ee also

*List of Austrian scientists
*List of Austrians
*List of Germans
*History of the internal combustion engine

External links

* - in English
* - in German
* [] - Technical Museum Vienna, in English
*;internal&action=_setlanguage.action?LANGUAGE=en - in English
* - Technisches Museum Wien, in German
* - in German
* - in German and English
* in English

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