On 25 November 1844 Karl Benz was born as the son of a locomotive driver in Karlsruhe. His father died only two years after his birth. Despite limited financial resources his mother made sure that he received a good education. Benz attended grammar school and later the Polytechnic University in Karlsruhe. He then completed a two-year period of practical training at the mechanical engineering company Maschinenbau-Gesellschaft in Karlsruhe. His employment began as a draughtsman and designer at a weighing machine factory in Mannheim. He lost his position in 1868 and joined a construction company specialising in bridge-building. After this he went to Vienna for a brief period to work for an iron construction company.