The words Mercedes-Benz and pianos are not something you usually associate with one another.
However, with the Mercedes-Benz Museum set to play host to two concerts as part of the Stuttgart Music festival, we've found a rather interesting link between Mercedes and Piano company Steinway and Sons.
Gottlieb Daimler and business partner Wilhelm Maybach, the founders of the carmaker now known as Mercedes, developed one of the first petrol-powered engines in 1885.
Two years later in 1887, Daimler met with piano maker William Steinway, the son of Steinway & Sons founder Henry E. Steinway and a former associate of his business partner Maybach. While accounts differ on where the two men met, some say they met in New York, while others state they met in Germany.
Wherever, it was those two men met, the meeting resulted in them going into business together. On 29 September, 1888, Steinway founded the Daimler Motor Company in New York to import Daimler engines into America.
Unfortunately, after his death in 1896, his sons sold their shares in the company to the General Electric Company in 1898. The company was reorganized and renamed as Daimler Manufacturing Company (DMFG), with Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) the primary owner.
The new company focused onproducing light trucks and buses along with boats under the Daimler name, while importing Daimler cars into America.
In 1904, the company shifted focus again, moving away from boats while staying with automobile production. That same year, the company produced a car called the 'American Mercedes', a derivative of the European Mercedes 40-45 hp car. It was the first Mercedes to built on American soil.
Speaking about the American Mercedes, it will be on display at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart during the Music Festival. This will bring the whole musical tale of Mercedes and Steinway Pianos back full circle, as the Gershwin Piano Quartet will be performing at the museum, on four Steinway Grand Pianos.