Woman Driver!!! Oh My God

What was this woman thinking? I mean jumping in with her two teenage boys into a just-patented automobile, driving 106 kms straight on fuel that she bought at the pharmacy? As expected of a woman she couldn’t even read road maps- oh sorry there were no road-signs and no roads (not at least like we know them now). And yet she is credited with being the first driver to drive a car across a real distance. The first driver was a woman? Really??

                                      At a time when a woman’s vote was just beginning to count, Bertha Benz helped the world hit the road.

At a time when a woman’s vote was just beginning to count, Bertha Benz helped the world hit the road. Yes. Say hello to Ms. Bertha Benz, the better half of Mr. Karl Benz, in more ways than one. For starters, when no man had dared more than just short trial drives, she drove 106kms to her mother’s house on unpaved, bumpy roads, determined to market her husband’s brilliance.

1) As Bertha Ringer, daughter of a wealthy family from the southwestern German town of Pforzheim, she used her dowry to invest in the engineering dreams of her fiancé Karl Benz.

2) In a time of horse-drawn carriages, Bertha’s investment gave Mr Benz the freedom to invent the First Patented automobile. But she was frustrated when the wonderful inventions just sat in the garage hidden away from the world.

3) Blessed with both an engineering mind and marketing acumen, Bertha on 5th August, 1888, drove her perfectionist husband’s newly constructed automobile to her mother’s house a 106 kms away without informing him.

At a time when a woman’s vote was just beginning to count, Bertha Benz helped the world hit the road. 4) The single-cylinder, 2.5-horsepower car had three wheels, one in the front and two in the back and was capable of a maximum speed of 25 mph. For fuel Bertha Benz drove around the pharmacies buying ‘Legion’, a petroleum solvent, commonly used for cleaning in those times.

5) Having faced difficulties in driving uphill, her suggestion led to the introduction of world’s first gear system. Hard to digest?

6) How about if I tell you that this woman driver, Bertha Benz used just her hairpin to clear the clogged fuel line and even repaired the car’s ignition with her garter (suspenders).

7) When the wooden brakes gave way Bertha Benz got a cobbler to make world’s first brake pads (out of leather soles), all of this during this first journey.

At a time when a woman’s vote was just beginning to count, Bertha Benz helped the world hit the road. Bertha Ringer Benz, all of 39 years old gave the world a view of what the machine was capable of and garnered real publicity for her husband’s business enterprise. Her marketing gimmick paved way for Benz and Cie. to became the world’s largest automobile company within the decade.

Contrary to popular perception, it seems women do know their cars from their soap bars. So next time you want to stereotype, remember the first driver was a woman. Or better still head for the The Bertha Benz Memorial Route in Germany. A private non-profit initiative started by Frauke and Edgar Meyerin a few years ago signposted the original route Ms. Benz took in 1888. At a time when a woman’s vote was just beginning to count, Bertha Benz helped the world hit the road.

If you want to share more inspiring stories write to us at KetchupMoms@gmail.com.

For some travel ideas we suggest - Best food trails in India, Shimla- The temple and trek city and Singapore the most child-friendly city. 

Comments (12)

heyleelay Posted on Feb 22, 2016

I never knew this until know but she's a dang feisty and brave woman. Woman like her are their husband's strength and never a weakness. Haha. Thanks for sharing!

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Jhanz Posted on Feb 22, 2016

Good read! Definitely something to say when people complain about "women drivers"

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Clair Kelly Posted on Feb 22, 2016

Ah fantastic! I love to hear about inspiring women and I had never heard this before!

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Georgia Posted on Feb 19, 2016

This was such a great read, next time my father or any other man for that matter complains of women drivers I will let him know about the truth!! Brilliant post

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Niki Posted on Feb 18, 2016

WOW! I had no idea. That is very interesting, and now I will share this with ever car freak of a man that will hear it! lol. Thanks for sharing, you learn something new everyday!

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Joanna Posted on Feb 18, 2016

I had no idea that the first driver in the world was a woman! And who else but Karl Benz's fiancee! Very interesting! Last year when I was studying at Google, me and my team had to do a whitepaper on a disruptive technology in the insurance market, so we focused on telematics. This way I found out that women drive much more safely than men and there is actually a campaign going on called "Drive like a girl", where young drivers pay less on insurance if they drive safe and have no incidents in traffic.


ROBERT LEE Posted on Feb 18, 2016

Women power! In the Philippines, when there is a car in front that is incredibly slow, some drivers would assume the driver was a woman. If there is a car that is taking too much time in parking, like having difficulty parking, some drivers assume ... yes, woman. Great post!


Fayaz Posted on Jan 17, 2015



tript Posted on Jan 13, 2015

My god I had absolutely no idea?


P C Posted on Jan 11, 2015

Proud to know in this field too woman is the mother

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Sumeet Posted on Jan 11, 2015

I didn't know this!

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M R Posted on Jan 10, 2015

Thank you for sharing this. I though ford was the first driver

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Charu Chhitwal

Charu Chhitwal, Founder KetchupMoms has daring tastebuds, a love for travel and an owl for her soul. It’s little wonder then that she loves to write and share her tips and tricks on traveling, food,

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