The Real Star Of Mercedes Benz

Know the woman who invented brake pads and brought fame to Mercedes-Benz . #notMANmade


Before the Mercedes star, there was a Motorwagen, widely regarded as the world’s first automobile. Engineered by Karl Benz, the founder of Mercedes Benz, it would not be wrong to say that Bertha, wife of Karl, was both the accelerator and the break to it. How? Now that is a story worth sharing.

In 1888, Bertha became the first person to drive an automobile over a long distance(66 miles). She not only brought worldwide attention to the Benz Motorwagen but also invented break pads during that drive.

A perfectionist and an indecisive man, Karl was strictly against a public demonstration of the wagen until it was ‘perfect’. An investor to Karl’s previous venture, Bertha had also put her money into the development of the motorwagen.

With no road map in hand, one day, she set out to her moms place 60 miles away on the wagen without informing Karl. She had to search for ligroin, the petroleum solvent needed for the car to run at various places. With the car breaking multiple times, she cleaned a blocked fuel line with her hat pin and used her garter as isolation material to repair the motorwagen. The normal breaks proved to be ineffective during the uphill drive so she made a shoemaker add leather to the braking blocks thereby inventing the brake pads.

Bertha not just brought the first sales to the Benz-Patent-Motowagen but also invented the break pads with her keen engineering mind.

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This series(#notMANmade) was a result of my discussion with a few friends who were not able to recall any name of women inventors and easily listed atleast 5 male inventors. I will be posting more about women inventors and their contributions in the coming days.The post originally went live on Stories Worth Sharing, an initiative that aims to end the noise on internet through the stories they share.