Karl Friedrich Benz, (November 25, 1844 – April 4, 1929) was a German engine designer and car engineer, generally regarded as the inventor of the gasoline-powered cars, and together with Bertha Benz pioneering founder of the automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. Other German contemporaries, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach working as partners, also worked on similar types of inventions, without knowledge of the work of the other, but Benz patented his work first and, after that, patented all of the processes that made the internal combustion engine feasible for use in cars. In 1886 Benz was granted a patent for his first car.
In 1871, at the age of twenty-seven, Karl Benz joined August Ritter in launching a mechanical workshop in Mannheim, also dedicated to supplying construction materials: the Iron Foundry and Mechanical Workshop, later renamed, Factory for Machines for Sheet-metal Working.
The enterprise's first year was a complete disaster. Ritter turned out to be unreliable and local authorities confiscated the business. The difficulty was solved when Benz's fiancée, Bertha Ringer, bought out Ritter's share in the company using her dowry.