Gateway to the world - the first steamboat from Mannheim arrives in Heilbronn on December 7, 1841. Lithograph of the Brothers Wolff
Heilbronn as traffic hub - as of 1848, travelers can transfer directly from the steamship from Mannheim to the train to Stuttgart
Heilbronn - City of Innovations
During the 19th century, Heilbronn emerged as a city of continuous innovations. Its citizens valued new technological opportunities. They welcomed the first steamship from Mannheim on December 7, 1841 enthusiastically. Starting in 1842, a steamer plied daily between the two cities. The railway line to Stuttgart connected river and railroad traffic beginning in 1848.
By the end of the century, Heilbronn had become a pioneer in electrical engineering. On August 24, 1891 the first ever long distance electrical transmission took place between Lauffen on the Neckar and Frankfurt on the Main. One year later, Heilbronn was the first city . The first electrical streetcar followed in 1897 after the razing of several buildings and the extenssion of the Kaiserstrasse to the Allee.
Heilbronn's innovations were brought to life by numerous inventive citizens. Among them were pioneers like Robert Mayer, who discovered the law of energy conservation, pathfinders in medicine like Georg Klett (blood transfusion) and Philipp Sicherer (anesthesia), scientiests like Friedrich August von Alberti (geology) and engineers, like Johann Widmann, who constructed the first German fanfold paper machine.
The last name would mark the end of the pioneer days: Wilhelm Maybach, who was indeed born in Heilbronn, went to Stuttgart/Cannstatt and became the "king of draftsman". He ushered in the era of the automobile, during which time Heilbronn was to lose its place at the forefront of technological innovation.