A shining star on a postcard led to the creation of the world-recognized symbol that represents Mercedes-Benz today.
The history of Mercedes-Benz and their vision to be “the best or nothing” extends as far back as the late 1800’s. Gottlieb Daimler originally founded Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) in 1890 while Carl Benz began Benz & Cie in 1883. Both businesses helped lay the foundation of motorized road transportation. After Daimler passed away in 1900, chief engineer Wilhelm Maybach took over and brought-on Austrian-born businessman and racing enthusiast- Emil Jellinek as a partner. Jellinek’s daughter Mercédès– her name meaning “grace” in Spanish –was the inspiration for the brand name as Jellinek popularized her name by using it as his racing pseudonym.
In 1909, Daimler’s two sons Paul and Adolf remembered a postcard their father sent their mom nearly 4-decades ago. The postcard featured a three-pointed star marking the location of his house in Germany, with the explanation that one day the star would shine over his factory and bring prosperity. (The History Behind the Mercedes-Benz Brand and the Three-pointed Star; by eMercedes-Benz) DMG took the star as the company’s logo. At the same time, Benz & Cie trademarked its own logo: a laurel wreath surrounding the company’s name.
On June 28, 1926 representatives of Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) and Benz & Cie. signed the agreement for the merger of the two oldest automobile manufacturers in the world.
This marked the birth of Daimler AG and its globally renowned trademark: the three pointed star inside a laurel wreath.
The merger created the foundation for the present-day Daimler corporation. This alone shows the sustainable staying power of the historic merger. The economic conditions in Germany after the First World War were difficult. The same applied to the automobile industry and affected even prestigious companies like DMG and Benz & Cie. – “Germany’s two oldest and largest automobile factories”, as stated in the public announcement of the merger in 1926.
The merger was symbolized by the new brand logo of Mercedes-Benz, which was registered as a new trademark in February 1925. It connected the Mercedes star of Daimler with the laurel wreath of Benz.
The two original trademarks originated in the year 1909 and were continuously further developed until 1926. This was how the two companies began to hone up their presence in the signs system of the automobile industry at an early stage. In the early advertisements and other publications of Daimler-Benz AG, the former logos were therefore frequently shown together with the new brand name of Mercedes-Benz.
So what does the three-pronged star actually represent? According to Mercedes-Benz, it symbolizes the automaker’s drive toward universal motorization with its engines dominating the land, sea, and air (three points). This emblem and symbol further promotes their vision to be the leading luxury automobile brand, perfectly characterized by their slogan of “the best or nothing.”
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