DKW is a historic German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 and motorcycle
A motorcycle is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.Motorcycles are one of the most...

 marque. The name derives from Dampf-Kraft-Wagen .

In 1916, the Danish
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

 Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen
Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen
Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen was an engineer and industrialist of Danish origin. He moved to Germany and established several automobile and motorcycle manufacturing companies, including DKW and Framo. Rasmussen acquired a majority interest in Audi in 1928, which four years later became Auto Union...

 founded a factory in Zschopau
Zschopau , a town in the German state Saxony, is located on both banks of the river Zschopau, south-east from Chemnitz. It is part of the Erzgebirgskreis district. Its population is 11,584...

, Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

, Germany, to produce steam fittings. In the same year, he attempted to produce a steam-driven car, called the DKW. Although unsuccessful, he made a two-stroke
Two-stroke cycle
A two-stroke engine is an internal combustion engine that completes the process cycle in one revolution of the crankshaft...

 toy engine in 1919, called Des Knaben Wunsch—"the boy's desire". He also put a slightly modified version of this engine into a motorcycle and called it Das Kleine Wunder—"the little marvel".