Friday - December 31, 2010

 Bertha Benz

I've discovered a new heroine, Bertha Benz.  Not only was she drop dead gorgeous, but she was quite handy with tools, probably starting an old gag by fixing her car in 1888 with a hair pin and a garter belt. 

Her husband designed and built one of the earliest automobiles but like many engineers didn't think it was ready for market.  So Bertha took it off on a 65 mile road trip to see her sister's new born baby, with the intent of making sure everyone in every town on the way saw her doing it.  

The full story is worth reading, but this paragraph is the money.

 6a00e54ed05fc288330133f61729c4970b-300wi.jpgKarl Benz continued tinkering with hisPatent-Motorwagen, but was in no hurry to put it into production. He was a perfectionist, and kept thinking of ways to make it a little better. Working on it was also probably the most fun he'd ever had at the shop.

Bertha had a slightly different perspective. While Karl looked at the Patent-Motorwagen and saw a challenging and enjoyable engineering problem, Bertha saw Deutsche Marks waiting to be earned. She tried to convince her husband to start putting the Patent-Motorwagen through more extensive testing over long distances--up to that point, he'd only ever driven it around the shop grounds and on short jaunts through the local streets--as a prelude to offering it for sale as a production model. Karl was opposed to the idea, as he didn't think the Patent-Motorwagen was quite ready for prime time.

I'd never heard this story until today.  I recommend you read the whole thing.

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