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One hundred and seventy‑two years ago this May, an automotive pioneer was born. Bertha Benz, who played a major role in the invention of the automobile, is credited with achievements that now span over a century.


Through her financial support, her husband Karl Benz embarked upon his vision: patenting the Motorwagen. From there, she took this venture further.

In 1888, Bertha Benz set out for the first long‑distance drive in history — a journey that would show the world the future of mobility.

On that inaugural drive, she solved engineering issues with her brilliant resourcefulness: cleaning a fuel line with her hat pin, using her garter as insulation and inventing brake pads with leather from a cobbler.

The unwavering perseverance of her journey led to great publicity and further production of the Motorwagen.

Today, tourists and locals alike can drive the Bertha Benz Memorial Route in Baden‑Württemberg, Germany, the site of the first long‑distance road trip. Join us in celebrating the pioneering spirit of Bertha Benz, and may her legacy continue to inspire future innovators.

Author: Frances Rice