Bertha Benz played a decisive part in the development of the automobile. She supported her husband Carl Benz as best she could and, like him, firmly believed in the future of the automobile.
In the economically precarious early years, she pledged her dowry to save the first firm and repeatedly spoke out resolutely against doubters; for the new means of passenger and goods transport met for the most part with deep scepticism. This narrow-mindedness of most Benz contemporaries finally led in August 1888 to a momentous decision.
World’s first long-distance journey in an automobile
Bertha Benz could not and would not stand by and watch anymore as her husband suffered from the negative stance of the populace, and, without further ado, without his knowledge she set out with his motor car and her children in the direction of Pforzheim. She actually arrived there with her sons Eugen and Richard. The circumstances of this world’s first long-distance journey in an automobile – for example, a fresh supply of petrol from a chemist’s shop – are legendary, and have gone down in the annals of automotive history. Bertha Benz and her sons therefore played a vital part in 1978M37 the subsequent triumphant advance of the petrol-powered automobile.