stories behind the great inventions of that time. I have just discovered
Bertha Ringer was born in 1849 in Pforzheim, Germany. In 1871, she invested in the workshop of her fiancé, Karl Benz, enabling him to develop the first patented automobile. As an unmarried woman she was able to do so; after she married Benz, according to the law in those days, Bertha lost her juridical power to act.
On 20 July 1872, Bertha Ringer married Karl Benz. Together they had five children
|The Benz Patent-Motorwagen Number 3|
First cross-country automobile journey
On 5 August 1888, without telling her husband and without permission of the authorities, Benz drove with her sons Richard and Eugen, thirteen and fifteen years old, in one of the newly constructed Patent Motorwagen automobiles—from Mannheim to Pforzheim—becoming the first person to drive an automobile over a real distance. Motorized drives before this historic trip were merely very short trial drives, returning to the point of origin, made with mechanical assistants. This pioneering tour had a one-way distance of about 106 km (66 mi).
Although the ostensible purpose of the trip was to visit her mother, Bertha Benz had other motives: to prove her husband—who had failed to consider marketing his invention adequately—that the automobile they both heavily invested in would become a financial success once it was shown to be useful to the general public; and to give her husband the confidence that his constructions had a future.
|Map of Bertha Benz Memorial Route|
Along the way, several people were frightened by the automobile and the novel trip received a great deal of publicity, as she had sought. The drive was a key event in the technical development of the automobile. The pioneering couple introduced several improvements after Bertha's experiences. She reported everything that had happened along the way and made important suggestions, such as the introduction of an additional gear for climbing hills and brake linings to improve brake-powerFrom : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertha_Benz
Antique Automobiles Posters in Folie du Jour