Karl Drais

Karl Drais (* 29. April 1785 in Karlsruhe; † 10. December 1851 in Karlsruhe), before Karl Friedrich Christian Ludwig baron Drais von Sauerbronn, was a German forest man and an important inventor of the Goethe time.

Table of contents

lives and working

its father was an upper yard judge of Baden Karl William Ludwig Friedrich Drais baron von Sauerbronn. Its nut/mother was Margarete Ernestine of Kaltenthal. Mark count Carl Friedrich of bathing took over the sponsorship for Karl.

1803 until 1805 Drais studied architecture, agriculture and physics at the Ruprecht Karl university Heidelberg.

1810 he became forest master of Baden without Forstamt. It was however already exempted 1811 from the service, in order to attend to its activity as inventors, and received to 1818 with the title „professor of the mechanics “earlyretired furtherits content as a kind inventor pension.

To its inventions belong a Klavierrekorder, which grope-moves on paper volume notes; the first key typewriter for 25 letters; a Stenomaschine with 16 keys as well as for the first time with paper tapes; and above all the two-wheeler principle in form of the run machine or hand trolley, thatfirst vehicle with two wheels on a trace.

1813 developed Drais a car with four wheels, which had first a Tretmühle, then over a crankshaft between the rear wheels and which it called driving machine.

From Drais' description of 1817

the first travel with its run machine,also „“or „Veloziped “mentioned, from Mannheim to the Schwetzinger relay house in the today's Mannheimer quarter Rheinau he undertook hand trolley to 12. June 1817. It undertook its second two-wheeler travel in July von Gernsbach to Baden-Baden.

In order to announce its invention, Drais organized public travels. These were crownedMeetings by a remote travel. It drove the distance from Karlsruhe to Kehl, to approximately 50 km, into 12 hours (the reported 4 hours were probably a Zeitungsente!). The horse post office needed at that time at least twice as for a long time. Besides it published articles in magazines.

It received to 12. January 1818 for its invention a grossherzogliches privilege, comparably with a today's patent (bathe had at that time no Patent Act). From then on each hand trolley must have a Drais Lizenzmarke on the steering bar. Additionally he was appointed by Grand Duke Carl the professor for mechanics and retired as a forest master- a kind inventor pension.

License mark

Drais was convinced democrat and put down 1849 publicly its title of nobility.

Drais' pursuit

as a released civil servant was not allowed to begin Drais a part-time work as entrepreneurs. Also after its early retirement, which had oktroyiert him family enemy and Minister v.Reitzenstein, it wantedagain into the forest service back. The Wagner built anyway everywhere pirat copies of the run machine, so that a Manufaktur for run machines would have been offering no prospects. The world-wide prohibition of the run machines on the sidewalks, where alone one could balance it, strangled this early individual traffic for fifty years.

Afterthe execution of the Kotzebue murderer Ludwig sand in Mannheim the sand trailers it began to mobben in a kind kinship detention for the father and upper yard judge systematically. Therefore he emigrated for a few years as geo meter to Brazil. After his return and the death of the father wantedone it shorten its inventor pension, against what it successfully prozessierte. Whereupon it became the victim of private revenge of the been subject lawyer. For example one produced a tavern fight with consequences. Thereupon it lost its chamber gentleman status, i.e., he was not no more before-let with yards. After it itself publicly asDemocrat had expressed, escaped he 1838 only scarcely an attempted assassination and pulled after forest cat brook in the desert forest.

one heard 1842 of him that he tested a 4-rädrige rail hand trolley with foot operation in Karlsruhe with permission of the state railway. The first such auxiliary vehicle for railway officials was in Vienna inTwo-wheeler on only one rail been - therefore the name „hand trolley “.

Again to Karlsruhe moved Drais was pursued because of its Demokratentums after striking down the revolution of Baden by the Prussian crew and tried to incapacitate, which its brothers and sisters could prevent. There its pension completely for paymentthe revolution costs was seized, died he without means.


  • Hans Erhard Lessing: Automobility - Karl Drais and the unbelievable beginnings. Maxim publishing house, Leipzig 2003. ISBN 3-931965-22-8 (comprehensive, also political re-valuation owing to new sources)
  • Hermann Ebeling: The baron von Drais: the tragic life of the“moved baron”. An inventor fate in the conventional Meier. Brown, Karlsruhe 1985. ISBN 3-7650-8045-4 (disproved by Lessing to 80%)
  • Heinz Schmitt: Karl Friedrich Drais of Sauerbronn: 1785-1851; an inventor of Baden; Exhibition to its 200. Birthday; Urban history in the prince max palace, Karlsruhe, 9. März-26. May 1985; City. Tearing museum Mannheim,5. Juli-18. August 1985. City archives Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe 1985. (contains even again theses) Michael Rauck given up
  • by Lessing: Karl baron Drais von Sauerbronn: Inventor and entrepreneur (1785 - 1851). Steiner, Stuttgart 1983. ISBN 3-515-03939-2 (personnel document completely printed; Priority swindle still unidentified)
  • articles in the new one German biography of Sigfrid v. Weiher

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