Thursday 3rd May 1849
Born on this day, Bertha Benz, wife of Karl, the first person to drive an automobile over a long distance. On 5 August 1888 and without her husband’s knowledge, she drove her sons, Richard and Eugen, fourteen and fifteen years old, in one of Benz’s newly-constructed “Patent Motorwagen” automobiles — from Mannheim to Pforzheim — becoming the first person to drive an automobile over more than a very short distance. The distance was more than 106 km (more than sixty miles). Distances travelled before this historic trip were short, and merely trials with mechanical assistants.