Are we there yet?
May 17, 2016 12:10 AM   Subscribe

In the summer of 1888 Bertha Benz, accompanied by her two teenage sons, was the first person to drive an automobile any significant distance. As a publicity stunt she drove her husband's experimental, three wheeled, benzene fueled, internal combustion powered, Benz Patent Motor Car Model III to visit her parents. The all day road trip took them 106 kilometres from the workshop in Mannheim to her families home in Pforzheim. And then a few days later back again by a different route so as to expose the automobile to as many people as possible. Along the way she filled up at apothecaries; the first of which bills itself as the world's first filling station and is still doing business today as a pharmacy.
posted by Mitheral (6 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
My favorite part of that story is that she didn't tell Carl ahead of time. She just left a note on the table. Just taking the first road trip in a car ever. No big deal.
posted by postel's law at 4:21 AM on May 17, 2016 [10 favorites]

BRB ...
posted by oheso at 5:20 AM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

There's a good chunk of early motoring history involving women. (Yes, there is a racecar driver named Hellé Nice, aka the Bugatti Queen, and her driving was indeed hella nice.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:16 AM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

I like that you can follow in her footsteps tracks today on the Bertha Benz Memorial Route pretty closely (compare the original route and today's scenic route).
I live near the route and think this would make a nice Sunday roadtrip, stopping at a few of the sights.
posted by amf at 10:37 AM on May 17, 2016

Fueled by benzene?! o_O Glad that didn't become the automotive industry's fuel of choice. Petroleum is bad enough.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:31 PM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

And even though the benzene-levels in petrol are capped at 1% our German word for petrol is still - Benzin. (While benzene is called Benzol, so… eh.)
posted by dominik at 2:06 AM on May 18, 2016

« Older Beach Bully Bingo   |   As American As Duct Tape, Brass Knuckles and Cole... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments