Berta Benz Quick Facts!
Quick facts about the woman who changed the automobile industry
Born Berta Ringer on May 3rd, 1849 in Pforzheim, Germany.
Married Karl Benz at the age of 23 on July 20th, 1872.
Berta Benz was the first person to drive an automobile over a long distance (a 65 mile journey from Mannheim to Pforzheim).
During her test ride to Pforzheim, Berta unclogged the car’s fuel line with a hairpin.
Berta used a garter from her stockings to improvise for an ignition wire that had short-circuited.
She took notes about the car’s functionality and where it needed improvement. From these notes she invented brake lining and an additional low gear to scale hills.
In Bauschloff, on her return journey, the town shoemaker had to fit leather to the brake locks, which had been worn down from pushing the vehicle uphill.
Berta had to stop in Bruchsal to get an extended chain fixed by the local blacksmith.
Berta traveled along the railway lines to not get lost between Mannheim and Pforzheim.
Berta made the journey without the aid of signs on the open road between towns and cities.
The Berta Benz Memorial Route is a member of the European Route of Industrial Heritage. It opened in 2008 and is an officially recognized national scenic route in Bader-Württemberg.
As an unmarried woman, Berta arranged for her dowry to be paid in advance to alleviate the debts of Karl’s company in its infant stages.
Had 5 children with Karl – Eugen, Richard, Clara, Thilde and Ellen. She took Eugen (aged 15) and Richard (aged 13) along for her premier voyage.
The vehicle used by Berta on her journey was model #3, rather than the patented #1 model, which has been incorrectly depicted in media.
Berta admitted in an interview that her sons each drove for part of the journey.
Died May 5th 1944 in Ladenburg, Germany.
Berta Benz is a true Gutsy Gal!