Bertha Benz’ Excursion Started It All

Written by Ken Altes

Bertha’s husband, Karl Benz, invented the first internal combustion car, but Bertha, without his knowledge, took her two boys and the Patent Motorwagen from Mannheim to Pforzheim to see her mother, about 66 miles away.  She had invested a lot of money in the development of the car and wanted to demonstrate that it was a practical conveyance. It was the first cross-country trek in a car, and it was a sensation, generating lots of publicity and the car’s first purchase orders.  Along the way, several repairs were required, and because the brakes were so poor, she got a blacksmith to put a leather pad on the brake shoe, in doing so, invented brake lining.

I ran across this 1886 Patent Motorwagen Replica at Motoreum in NW Austin.  Here are technical details and a similar replica.

Patent Motorwagen in Austin TX at MotoreumPatent Motorwagen in Austin TX enginePatent Motorwagen in Austin TX instructionsPatent Motorwagen in Austin TX plaquePatent Motorwagen in Austin TX

 

 

 

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