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Sad story of the woman after whom the Mercedes car was named

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Mercédès Adrienne Ramona Manuela Jellinek was the daughter of the Austrian automobile visionary, Emil Jellinek, and his first wife, Rachel Goggmann Cenrobert. Born on 16th September 1889, in Vienna, Austria, her enduring legacy lies in her association with the renowned Mercedes automobile line, which her father created, beginning with the introduction of the Mercedes 35 hp model in 1901.

Emil Jellinek was very fond of his daughter – so fond that he featured a large portrait of her at the prestigious 1902 Paris Automobile Exhibition. He even officially changed his own name to Jellinek-Mercedes in 1903, following Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft’s registration of Mercedes as a trademark in 1902.

‘Mercedes’ is a Spanish feminine name that means ‘mercies

Mercédès never shared her father’s fervor for automobiles and never owned one herself. And her married life left her little money with which to buy one, anyway. For she had a really rough life.

She lived in Vienna, and married twice. Her first husband, who she married in 1909, was Baron von Schlosser. The couple bore two children, the tumultuous World War I left them financially broke, and in 1918 Mercédès was reduced to begging for sustenance in the streets.

Shortly thereafter, she left her husband and children, and married Baron Rudolf von Weigl, a gifted but indigent sculptor. Mercédès possessed musical talents, gracing the world with her beautiful soprano voice.

Tragically, Mercédès Jellinek’s life was cut short by bone cancer, and she passed away in Vienna on 23rd February 1929, at the age of 39. She was interred in the family grave near her grandfather, the former chief rabbi of Vienna, Adolf Jellinek

In 1926, Daimler merged with Benz & Cie, and although the company bore the name Daimler-Benz, it chose to preserve the esteemed Mercedes brand by naming its automobiles ‘Mercedes-Benz’.

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