Daimler encountered a particular company construct. There is a prosperous product, the atmospheric gas engine. Nikolaus August Otto brought it with him into the company. However, since then he was director with no real area of responsibility. He was not able to solve the problems occurring with the numerous orders. Otto was a trained businessman, more precisely, a former sales representative. He had excelled brtilliantly as an inventor . But then Gottlieb Daimler was also hired as a director. He lived with his family in a similar house next door, earned scarcely less than Otto and, in contrast to him, had relatively free rights to register patents on his name.
Daimler had already foreign contacts when he entered the company; he also had a good idea of the production of mechanical devices even in larger quantities and leadership of people and looked down on Otto a little. The relationship between the two apparently did not improve in the rest of their lives. Daimler brought Maybach along, who soon became the head of the construction department. From then on, they produced an engine together, the was still able to compete on the market but reached had its limits with its maximum of 2 kW (3 hp).
Otto had the much improved version constructed already in 1862 but failed at the significantly higher pressures of this machine. Eugen Langen, partner of Otto and practically the boss of Deutz, asked him to try again at this machine. He had a separate laboratory equipped for him. In 1876 the machine was built as a four-stroke engine, although Otto actually had in mind to improve the charge. It remains unclear whether the four-stroke principle arose additionally or it was not placed in the foreground because of the publications of Beau de Rochas in 1862.
It is always speculated that Daimler and Maybach had given important assistance with the development of the four-stroke engine. The laboratory,which was strictly shielded against the production area, and the personal aversion between Daimler and Otto imply the opposite. As technical director he rationalized the construction of atmospheric gas motors and increased production figures enormously. But the contrasts between the two finally proved to be insurmountable. Otto brought the Supervisory Board and his partner to change the situation.
An attempt to separate both temperaments is represented by Daimler's trip for the company to Russia during which he specially travelled through Austria (-Hungary) on the return trip and made new contacts, which were important for his own future. However, it changed nothing, one of the directors had to give way. Daimler presented the company claims on patents, but was ultimately rewarded amply with options (redeemable shares) and both left the company direction for Cannstatt (Stuttgart) in 1882.
His own very successful development
Apparently Daimler took along a rich treasure of inventions and experiences from Deutz. So the idea of a smaller, fast running motor was based on the bad experiences when selling Otto's smallest high-pressure motor with only 0.25 hp. It was rejected because it was too heavy and complex for the low performance. Since the idea was quite obviously to create a more lightweight and probably more cost-effective model for the many applications. Daimler had this idea at Deutz already. 07/13