Celebrate Women's History Month By Learning About Three Women That Made A Mark In Automotive History

It's Women's History Month and, while there are many women who have helped transform the auto world into what it is today, here are three that have most definitely made their mark.

  • Bertha Benz

    Karl Benz, the inventor and designer of the first Mercedes-Benz petroleum-powered privately-owned car, hadn't successfully marketed his new car or proved why anyone would benefit from owning one. His wife, Bertha Benz, decided to help out by taking it for what would become the very first long-distance car ride. She, and her two teenage sons, drove 66-miles to visit her mother. This not only showed off how useful the car could be, but because it required small repairs along the way, it also showed what problems needed to be fixed or changed. In fact, Bertha recommended many updates to the patent because of this trip, including non-wooden brakes, an additional gear for hilly terrain, and a stronger drive chain.

  • Dorothee Pullinger

    Before Dorothee could become one of the first female car designers she had to break through the man's world that the Institution of Automobile Engineers was. After being denied access because "the word person means a man and not a woman" and being told no by the manager of the car plant, her father, she kept on persisting. She finally got her chance when WWI began and she was put in charge of the car plant's female munitions workers. From there she employed local women instead of men and began creating more compact cars, designed for women and their smaller features. Her influence brought forth the FIAT 501 and made way for many other women car designers that followed in her footsteps.

  • Mary Anderson

    If you've ever used a windshield wiper, you have Mary Anderson to thank. In 1902 she was in New York and noticed the trolley driver having a difficult time driving through the sleet and rain. He eventually had to open the front window panels, which allowed the cold to come in, and Mary knew there must be another way. She devised the first windshield wiper with a rubber blade, an arm, and a spring and, although it had to be manually cranked, it worked wonderfully! Unfortunately, only after her patent expired did the wiper truly take off so Mary never received a dime for her invention.

And these are just three of the many outstanding women that made a mark in the automotive industry. We encourage you to learn more about these women and invite you to start up a discussion with our K&M Wayland Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram staff today!

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