A brand logo is a stamp of credibility and quality for auto manufacturers. There’s no symbol that inspires your trust like the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star. Standing the test of time, this star has graced grills and hoods for over a century. Despite changing very little through the years, the Mercedes-Benz logo has a history full of tradition and significance.
Origin of the Mercedes Logo
In the year 1901, European auto entrepreneur Emil Jellinek commissioned the first modern car, the Mercedes 35hp. He named the fleet of vehicles ordered from German auto manufacturer Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft after his beloved 11-year-old daughter, Mercedes Jellinek. Jellinek believed in the brand so much that soon after, he legally changed his last name to Mercedes. It wasn’t until 1909 that Daimler introduced the famous three-pointed star to the brand.
Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach founded the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft originally as a German engineering company in 1890. As the need arose, they converted their factories into auto manufacturing hubs. After partnering with Emil Jellinek, the company trademarked the Mercedes name in 1902.
Daimler’s sons remembered a story about a postcard that their father sent to their mother in the 1870s, depicting a three-pointed star that marked the location of their father’s German estate. He wrote in the card that one day that star would rule over the land, sea, and air, and bring prosperity to his family and factories.
This description of the star of dominating “land, air, and sea” was especially poignant because Daimler had a hand in the technology that was eventually used in vehicles in all three domains. Planes, boats, and cars alike were built with sturdy Daimler engine, as part of Daimler’s vision that his company would eventually achieve domination of the three modes of transportation.
The well-known star of the Mercedes-Benz logo was used in a variety of ways in its early years, such as:
Without a ring
With “Mercedes” lettering
Flanked by four smaller stars
Origin of the Benz and Cie Logo
Around the same time, Karl Benz, a talented engineer and inventor, made a name for himself building heavy machinery. His company, Benz and Cie originally had the logo of a gear shift enclosing the company name. The gear shift was meant to symbolize the nature of the heavy machinery they were known for.
Like many other engineers of the time, Benz became interested in auto manufacturing as the wave of the future. So many of the things you consider as fundamental to a car were patented by the incredibly talented Karl Benz. This list includes technological wonders such as:
The spark plug
The battery-powered ignition
The gear shift
The water radiator
As Benz and Cie became involved with designing and building engines for race cars in 1909, they changed the heavy gear to more delicate laurels to represent the honors they’d won while racing.
As early as 1894, Benz was a big name in the auto racing world. This was the year that the Paris-Rouen “Horseless Carriage Competition” was held, and is largely considered the very first auto race. In this landmark competition, Benz entered a rudimentary vehicle that went about 10-11 miles per hour.
The 1926 Merger
In early 1926, a trademark was filed for the name Mercedes-Benz, and for a logo of a three-pointed star surrounded by laurels. This unification of the symbols of the two powerhouse brands symbolized a new era in automobile manufacturing.
At the time, both Daimler and Benz were the two oldest auto manufacturers in the world. Their combined expertise lead to huge innovations in the auto industry, such as:
A hybrid car in 1906
The first antilocking brake system (ABS)
The first crash testing in 1958
Not Just Cars!
The Mercedes-Benz logo isn’t just an interesting picture, it’s a symbol that means a lot of things to many people across the world. The famous three-pointed star overlooks one of the busiest places in the entire world, Time Square. Many see the logo as a trophy, and even try to swipe them off cars’ hoods! It’s a symbol of luxury and innovation, and you can find it emblazoned on so many more items than just cars. The three-pointed star logo of Mercedes-Benz has come to embody what Daimler hoped it would nearly a century ago, in ruling the seas, skies, and roads.
The famous star can be found on jewelry, clothing, and accessories. For Mercedes-Benz fanatics, it’s so much more than a hood ornament. It’s a lifestyle.