Bertha Benz the journey that changed Everything

Estimated read time 4 min read

There is no one who does not know about Karl Benz’s Benz cars. His wife Bertha Benz made a great commitment to bring Benz cars to the fore.

Do you know that he once threw a car?

bartha Benz
bartha Benz

In August 1888, Bertha Benz, the wife of German engineer Karl Benz, changed history and became the first person to successfully drive a motorcycle over a long distance. In the glory of this trip, Benz’s discovery came to the fore and also affected his professional success. Many people do not know about this historic journey, which was done without the knowledge of Karl Benz.

karl benz
Karl Benz

Born in 1849 to a wealthy family in Forthsheim, Germany, Bertha Ringer was a business-savvy woman. Even before her marriage to Carl Benz, she bequeathed part of her dowry to Benz’s iron building construction company. Although Bertha’s marriage to Benz came with legal obstacles to acting as an investor, her dowry was used to support Benz’s dreams.

1st Motorwagen

Benz was determined to build his dream car. Bertha was also a great help to him. Accordingly, in 1885, he produced his first horseless carriage. This is a single-cylinder, 2.5-horsepower car. A patent was also obtained for this.

It is true that Karl Benz is an excellent inventor. But he is not a good salesman. The first public demonstrations of his car were not very successful. At one point, the car ran off the road and had an accident. Also, the situation in Germany at that time also crossed Karl’s mind. The Kaiser at that time was a horse lover. The Kaiser did not like to remove the horses that were widely used for transportation at that time.

But Bertha was always after Carl. She tried to encourage him. She encouraged Carl to enter a technical battle with German rival Daimler.
Finally, Bertha decided to take the car.


Bertha Benz Memorial Route

On August 5 or 12, 1888, without notice to Carl Benes, she drove Motorwagen No. 3 took the car, and left home. At the beginning of the journey, she might not have thought that this would be a turning point in world history.

Bertha Benz Memorial Route
Bertha Benz Memorial Route

Her journey was over rough roads, in an age when roads were few and far between. This is more of an exhibition than a tour. Bertha was the driver as well as the mechanic on this trip. She faced many problems on the way.

The car ran out of fuel on the way. There were no gas stations like today. The solvent Ligroin was bought from a dispensary in Wislock village for the car’s fuel needs. This pharmacy, which still exists today, thus became the world’s first gas station. Also, Bertha installed brake pads on this trip.


Finally, after 65 miles, Bertha and the children reached their destination, their mother’s house. Although Bertha sent a telegram to Carl that she had finished the trip, Bertha’s trip was already well known. There are many eyewitnesses to Carl’s car’s capabilities.

The town pharmacy in Wiesloch, referred to as the “First filling station in the world”, with a monument dedicated to her historic first car trip on the right

Three days later, Bertha and the two children left for the villages again. On the way back, a separate route was used to show the vehicle to another group. During the entire trip, Bertha drove the car for a distance of over 120 miles, which was unimaginable in the automobile industry at that time.

After Bertha’s trip, the demand for Karl Benz’s car increased rapidly. New orders started coming in. After a few years, Benz became the largest car company in the world.

Bertha’s advice and ideas constantly contributed to the development of Benz products. It is simply a violation of the traditional duties that should be fulfilled by the husband to the wife.

Bertha Benz Memorial Route
Bertha Benz Memorial Route

The route taken by Bertha Benz in 1888 is known among motoring enthusiasts as the Bertha Benz Memorial Route.

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