175 Years Wilhelm Maybach — A Look behind the Scenes

The 9th of February 2021 marked the 175th birthday of Wilhelm Maybach. To appropriately celebrate the ‘King of Designers’ and his contributions to mobility, several projects have been launched which allowed marking the anniversary in print and online. This week we would like to present an overview of these activities and also provide some interesting insights into the making-of.

Wilhelm Maybach Flyer Campaign

On February 9, we celebrated the 175th birthday of Wilhelm Maybach. To mark this very special occasion, the Wilhelm and Karl Maybach Foundation has made available a set of five educational flyers giving an overview of Wilhelm Maybach’s life and highlighting his important contributions to technology, innovation, and the history of mobility. The last one of these cards also refers to the current work of the foundation and its meaningful cooperation with the Freundeskreis Maybach Museum e.V. (association) – the Maybach Powered Design series that has been created exclusively in cooperation with Michael Schwab studio. In addition to the Freundeskreis Maybach Museum e.V., partners of the campaign are the Bruderhaus-​Diakonie Reutlingen, the Maybach brand of Daimler AG, and the Wilhelm-​Maybach-​Schule technical school center in Heilbronn. The cards will be accessible at various locations in Friedrichshafen and across various locations in Germany. The flyers are also available in a digital format and online at https://​maybach​.org/​c​e​l​e​b​r​a​t​i​n​g​-​1​7​5​-​y​e​a​r​s​-​w​i​l​h​e​l​m​-​m​a​y​b​a​ch/. The flyers also include a so-​called QR code. By simply using a smartphone or tablet, you can easily take a picture of the code and be taken directly to the Maybach​.org website, which takes you to the Maybach virtual museum. We have more updates about this exciting project very soon !

Set of cards for the 175th birthday of Wilhelm Maybach 2021 | Photo : Wilhelm and Karl Maybach Foundation.

Book in collaboration with Wilhelm Maybach School Heilbronn

Wilhelm Maybach around 1915, portrait photograph Maybach Museum Collection | Photo : Wilhelm and Karl Maybach Foundation

Another important honoring of Wilhelm Maybach comes straight from his hometown and an institution that bears his name : the technical school center ‘Wilhelm-​Maybach-​School’. This year the Wilhelm-​Maybach-​School will honor Wilhelm Maybach’s name by putting together a dedicated booklet including content and visuals from different voices connected to the Maybach heritage. Proudly, the Wilhelm and Karl Maybach Foundation together with the Schmid-​Maybach family, have provided meaningful contributions.

To further celebrate this year’s important anniversary, we have also presented an up to this point unpublished portrait photograph of Wilhelm Maybach from the Maybach Museum Collection in Friedrichshafen. Besides providing an insight into the way photographs used to be commissioned back in the early 20th century, we have also chosen it to showcase the everyday work with objects and documents by the Foundation’s German Team. The brochure published by the Wilhelm-​Maybach-​School will become available in the course of this year and we are very much looking forward to its publication.

Heilbronn, Germany is the city where Wilhelm Maybach was born as one of five children and where he spent the first few years of his life. Besides the school named after him, Maybach is present in this town to this very day by a large collection relating to Wilhelm Maybach which is being stored in the city’s archive. Also, within the school, the Maybach history is and has been kept present enthusiastically over the years. There even had been a project spearheaded by Klaus Schellenberger of restoring a Maybach type SW 38 car that was meticulously reconstructed using parts from different sources – certainly, a project like no other (this project was documented in the book ‘Das Maybach-​Mosaik : von der Vision zu einem Maybach-​Automobil’ published in 2003). Aside from supporting the aforementioned project, the Schmid-​Maybach family has donated a price over the years which is awarded to students of that year with the highest-​ranking achievements.

Wilhelm Maybach with his granddaughter Irmgard Schmid-​Maybach around the year 1925

A key component of our collaboration with the Wilhelm-​Maybach-​Schule for the publication project was the interview with an important eyewitness of Maybach history : Mrs. Irmgard Schmid-​Maybach, daughter of Karl and granddaughter of Wilhelm Maybach. An audio-​Interview was recorded by her son, Ulrich Schmid-​Maybach that has provided many interesting insights into the history and also a personal perspective of Irmgard Schmid-​Maybach. Not only will this interview be published in the small book by the Wilhelm-​Maybach-​School, but it also has been published in the ‘Die Stimme’ (The Voice) on the occasion of the 175th birthday of Wilhelm Maybach on the 9th of February.


For more, follow us on Instagram, Facebook & LinkedIn !

You can also reach our Museum/​Archive team at museum@​maybach.​org.

We look forward to hearing from you !

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