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Bertha Benz Driving the Benz Patent-Motorwagen

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An 1886 photograph of Bertha Benz, the wife of inventor Karl Benz, and one of the pioneering co-founders of Mercedes-Benz.

A woman of great fortitude and beauty, Bertha, in 1888, became the first person to ever drive an automobile over a long distance (66 mi). She completed the journey on the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, which had the effect of bringing her company worldwide publicity, and some much needed sales.

[via Vintage Photography]

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