Benz Power

It’s been a while since we’ve had a pioneer era item, and today’s poster is specifically advertising Benz engines for the pioneer aviator, 59 x 46 cm in size.


The array of aircraft configurations encircling the giant motor, looking like an architectural memorial, seem to cover all (heavier than air) options – clearly for all these you need but one engine type. As an engine advertisement it’s interesting the artist (unnamed) has faced the propellerless propshaft away from the viewer.

The text reads: “Benz erhelt den Kaiserprqis im wettbewerb fur den beaten deutschen flugzeug motor”; ‘Benz receives the Kaiser’s prize in the competition for the best German aircraft engine’. The company details “Benz & Cie” –  a lovely bit of period typography for that – “Rheinische automobil u motorenfabrik A.G. Mannheim” follow at the bottom.

Dated by the auction site to 1905, I’m sure it’s much later than that, and Bill Gunston in his World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines gives Benz & Cie winning the Kaiserpreis in 1913, with the 100 hp Bz II following soon after.

Artistically the strong design and the aforementioned typography, make one overlook the very simple three colour creation – the grey being cunningly used to give depth to the observing crowd.

James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.

Poster from auction site here.

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