Woman Crush Wednesday: Bertha Benz, The First Driver in History

Written by Bruna Brito, Edited by Esmée Koppius


Bertha Benz is the wife and partner of her husband, Karl Benz, the creator of the first (modern) fuel powered car.


The engineer devoted years of his life to developing an engine dedicated to a fuel source that was stable. Having achieved its goal in 1880, with the engine part. Then the other component inventions, which we know today as the automobile. Among them we have the speed control system (throttle), the ignition system battery, the car, the clutch, the gearbox plug, the water cooler and battery that made the prototype, named the Patent Wagen.


Therefore, Bertha took on a very difficult role at the time, she was the wife of one of the craziest men and forwards of that time, given that there was not so much confidence in the creation of the German.


However, what many don't know is that Bertha was almost as crazy as he was (or even more). Soon, she decided to take a trip with the new automobile and her children, in August 1888, with a similar objective to the promotion and marketing of the innovative product.

The 104 kilometer route between Mannheim and Pforzheim, in patent-motorwagen nº3 was carried out and according to some sources, they say that Karl was not so aware of this trip of his wife.


Bertha faced numerous problems during the trip, among them: lack of fuel, and had to make several technical adjustments, which she was able to solve by herself! Using some fabrics of her own clothes and fueling the machine with benzine purchased at a pharmacy.


Thus, Bertha Karl was the first person to take a trip in an automobile.


The visionary feat of the brave woman was fundamental for the development of the vehicle, which changed the history of humanity.


If it weren't for Bertha's insistence on testing Karl's prototype (which inspired modern cars), we wouldn't have the Mercedes-Benz company, founded by the couple.


Bettina Fetzer, vice president of marketing at Mercedes-Benz, stated: “Bertha was a pioneer and our first test pilot. Her courage and determination not to give up easily inspire me a lot."



Karl Benz invented the car. Bertha Benz taught the world to drive.