Berta Benz Quick Facts!

Quick facts about the woman who changed the automobile industry  

Wheel-icon.png Born Berta Ringer on May 3rd, 1849 in Pforzheim, Germany.

Wheel-icon.png Married Karl Benz at the age of 23 on July 20th, 1872.

Wheel-icon.png Berta Benz was the first person to drive an automobile over a long distance (a 65 mile journey from Mannheim to Pforzheim).

Wheel-icon.png During her test ride to Pforzheim, Berta unclogged the car’s fuel line with a hairpin.

Wheel-icon.png Berta used a garter from her stockings to improvise for an ignition wire that had short-circuited.

Wheel-icon.png 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.

Wheel-icon.png 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.

Wheel-icon.png Berta had to stop in Bruchsal to get an extended chain fixed by the local blacksmith.

Wheel-icon.png Berta traveled along the railway lines to not get lost between Mannheim and Pforzheim.

Wheel-icon.png Berta made the journey without the aid of signs on the open road between towns and cities.

Wheel-icon.png 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.

Wheel-icon.png 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.

Wheel-icon.png 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. 

Wheel-icon.png The vehicle used by Berta on her journey was model #3, rather than the patented #1 model, which has been incorrectly depicted in media.

Wheel-icon.png Berta admitted in an interview that her sons each drove for part of the journey.

Wheel-icon.png Died May 5th 1944 in Ladenburg, Germany.

Wheel-icon.png Berta Benz is a true Gutsy Gal!