from Wikipedia, History channel & other sources 9/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Bertha believed in Benz. Before he got together with Mercedes, Germany’s Karl Benz invented the first Car in 1885 – a small 3 wheeler. His wife, Bertha, showed her faith in him, by Investing a large sum of money. Bertha was a strong-willed woman and she helped Karl stay focused and motivated about the future. However, after 3 years, she got impatient with him – tinkering around with the car forever (as perfectionist do), so she wanted to prove it’s reliability.
1st Long Test Drive. Without her husband’s or the local authority’s permission, in August 1888, Bertha took the car for a long-distance Test Drive of 66 miles to see her Mother (which took 12 hrs = 5.5 mph – altho’ it could reach speeds up to 25 mph). After all, it only had a 1 cylinder, 2.5 HP engine. It was the longest Test Drive by anyone – man or woman – to date. There weren’t even roads between cities, so she had to follow the Railroad tracks. Although, she later said the purpose of the trip was to visit her mother, Bertha Benz had other motives: to prove her husband—who had failed to consider Marketing his invention adequately—that the automobile they both heavily invested in – would become a financial success once it was shown to be useful to the general public; and to give her husband the confidence that his invention had a future.
Creative Solutions. Along the way, Bertha solved numerous problems:
1) since there was no Gas Stations back then, she had to stop at Pharmacies every couple of hours to buy Gasoline – used as a Cleaning Fluid back then,
2) a Blacksmith had to help her mend a damaged Link Chain – that could have failed,
3) at one point, the Brakes needed to be repaired and, in doing so, Bertha Benz invented the Brake Pad out of Leather from a Saddle Shop,
4) She also had to use a long, straight Hat pin to clean a fuel pipe, which had become blocked,
5) insulate a wire with one of her own Garters.
6) refill the Water Coolant often, because it boiled off and threatened to let the engine overheat. [Who knew at that time that cars needed Radiators & pressurized cooling systems?
7) push the little car up a little hill sometimes, because it didn’t have enough power on it’s own. [Later, she talked her husband into putting a gear in, to be able to go up hills]. She left home around dawn and reached her Mother’s somewhat after dusk, notifying her husband of her successful journey by Telegraph. She drove back home in a few days – having solved all the little road problems [Aint s he great !!!]
World Attention. Along the way, several people were frightened by the automobile and the novel trip received a great deal of publicity, as she had sought. In fact, this trip got her local, national & inter-national attention and brought about a high demand for their car. The drive was a key turning event in the technical development of the automobile. The pioneering Benz couple introduced several improvements after Bertha’s experiences. She reported everything that had happened along the way and made important suggestions – enlarging the fuel tank for long trips and including more comfort for the ladies. By the end of the 19th century, Benz was the world’s largest automobile company – and all because Bertha Benz had the nerve to take one giant leap for mankind. (Give most of that credit to Bertha. Wiz4biz)
Comments: What do you think? Wasn’t she fantastic ???