Ideal Partners

A monument made of stone?

Dr. Carl Benz and Bertha Benz could only be successful because they were a highly efficient team. As the saying goes, behind every great man there has to be a strong woman.

In the course of the years they spent together, the companies run by Dr. Carl Benz got into trouble a number of times, but the two of them always stuck steadfastly together. In one case, Bertha Benz even made her family pay her dower before it was due in order to help her husband out of financial difficulties.

Hence, the great life-time achievement of Dr. Carl Benz would not have been possible without the ongoing support of his wife Bertha Benz. Unfortunately, only few people know that.

Historical personalities are often honored by naming streets after them. When using this example to try and find out the respect these two people enjoyed, we simply "googled" the following results:

Dr. Carl Benz Street: approx. 755,000 results
Bertha Benz Street:   approx. 18,000 results

What is also interesting in this connection is that in Mannheim, where the automobile was invented, you can find a street, a school, a public swimming pool and a stadium which have been named after Dr. Carl Benz – but an adequate tribute to Bertha Benz is not found.

Of course, personalities can also be honored by setting up monuments. Thus, the City of Mannheim erected a memorial plaque for Dr. Carl Benz at the water tower in 1933.

Monuments reminding of Bertha Benz are found in front of the pharmacy in Wiesloch which went down in the annals of history as the world's first filling station and continues to exist today, and in Pforzheim where Bertha Benz was born. We would like to mention at this point that especially the people in Pforzheim are undertaking many activities to uphold the memory of Bertha Benz.

So were we to erect another monument made of stone?

To us, this appeared far too static to commemorate a woman who brought mobility to the world, and without whom today's modern life on earth would be hard to imagine.

So we decided to honor Bertha Benz dynamically by setting up road signs along the route she took in 1888 and earmarking it as a modern scenic route.

Those are the dynamics that do justice to Bertha Benz, because everyone can follow the traces of this monument of industrial culture and let themselves be taken back to those hot days in August of the year 1888. However, we no longer have to jolt over field tracks, and today's modern cars – with air conditioning and other technical benefits – let us travel much more comfortably than back then.


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Signposts have been set up
Official Opening will be
embedded in the closing
ceremonies of
"Automobilsommer 2011"
Bertha Benz Challenge
(Open only for vehicles with
alternative drive systems)

more …

In Memoriam

Our friend Ms. Christiane Lubisch, who translated this website from German into English for free, passed away in December 2010.
We miss you, Christiane!