Bertha Benz: the female gear in a patriarchal machine

Written by Ibtesham Iftekhar

July 11, 2020

The pioneer, innovator, businesswoman, revolutionary, Bertha Benz is the epitome of the saying “Behind the success of every man is a woman” She was the first driver of the mechanical automobile in a time where horse carriages ran the streets and women were thought to have no other use other than childbearing.
Born on May 3, 1849, in the house of a successful carpenter Karl Friedrich Ringer, Bertha was into science and mechanics at an early age.
Meeting the engineer, Karl Benz, with his idea of a horseless automated vehicle, 23-year-old Bertha immediately fell in love and soon got married to him.

The next 15 years of their life went in much financial suffering. Despite being the inventor of the Benz Patent Motor Car, Karl did not believe it was ready for the road.

Bertha against all the odds took that same motor car for a ride on the road in 1988 which turned out to be a ride of 66 miles from Mannheim to Pforzheim, known in history as the first automobile ride on the first automobile road. She also made significant changes like inventing brake pads and the fuel line design.
She became the pioneer of the automobile industry and the face of Mercedes Benz along with her husband

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