Mother's Day: Bertha Benz, the mother of the auto industry

Not only did she finance her husband Karl Benz's invention, she successfully tested it without his knowledge and that was relevant to its commercialization.

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Si Karl benz He is considered the father of the automotive industry thanks to patenting the automobile as an invention in 1886. Bertha Benz, his wife, has well earned the title of mother of the sector since she played a relevant role in the development of the Motorwagen, her husband's invention.

Bertha Benz
Bertha Benz was born on May 3, 1849 and passed away on May 5, 1944.

Bertha invested both her parents' heritage and her personality to make a technological breakthrough possible, which required a good understanding and clear vision of the importance of her husband's work.

She was not only the "important wife behind an important husband ”, but was the person who motivated him to trust his abilities and make your vision come true by overcoming difficult times and trying harder and harder.

Bertha Benz
Bertha in 1883 with her children Thilde, Klara, Eugen and Richard

“My great-grandmother was always of great importance to me. The role she played in making her husband's invention come true has always been an important theme in our family. "Said Jutta benz, great-granddaughter of Bertha and Karl Benz.

“Like a whole wife at the end of the XNUMXth century, she also had to take care of the family, raise five children, do all the household chores, cook, etc. Therefore, it was twice what he achieved compared to a man. ", Agregó.

Bertha Benz
Painting of the famous journey that Bertha starred in with her children Richard and Eugen.

Until now, Bertha Benz has been most famous for her legendary role as the first person to take a car trip long distance, traveling from Mannheim a Pforzheim in August 1888 with his two children Richard y Eugen, without her husband knowing. What today is about an hour's drive took much longer during that time.

On that 106-kilometer trip that lasted 12 hours, he solved all the problems that arose.. He stopped at a pharmacy in Wiesloch, which became the world's first gas station, to buy Ligroin, a cleaning fluid that kept the car running. Another stop included a shoe store to repair the leather on a brake shoe. His hat pin was used to clear a clogged fuel line and he solved an ignition wire failure by using his rubber band as an insulator.

That also proved that he had some knowledge of the technology used in the vehicle. Her findings also helped Benz to further improve the car, which is why she was also the first quality manager in the automotive industry.

Bertha Benz
Karl and Bertha Benz on the Victoria four-wheeler in 1894.

This Bertha trip not only reaffirmed her husband's work, but reinforced sales and marketing efforts to make the Benz patent car a success in the market.

Today, Bertha's adventure can be relived through the Bertha Benz Memorial Route, a tourist trail that replicates the route you used. Traverses the black forest and includes several stops at specific locations, such as that pharmacy in Wiesloch, where a monument commemorates the feat. It also passes near the circuit of Hockenheim, usually visited by the Formula 1.

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Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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