Women that made and Impact in the Automotive Industry – Women History Month

March 8th, 2022 by

Women since the beginning of time for the Human race, Women have played important roles throughout history molding society and the world to what it is today alongside their counterparts. March is the annually declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and society. In the United States, The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.

As an industry Fred Martin is a part of, we would like to highlight in the Celebration of this month with some of the Women who had made an impact in the Automotive world. Here are some Women who made a difference and changed the automotive world with contributions:

Martha Benz

In 1886, Benz had premiered the Benz-Patent Motorwagen, the world’s very first automobile. Two years later, Martha Benz alongside her teenage sons in the Motorwagen, took a drive across their home country of Germany. The total length of the trip was 66-miles. That drive became the first long-distance road trip ever recorded while in an automobile.

Mary Anderson

Mary designed the very first windshield wiper. Her design consisted of a manual windshield wiper that was a rubber blade, operated with a crank.

Charlotte Bridgwood

Following in Mary’s concept, Charlotte would then engineer the first electronically-operated automatic windshield cleaners, also known as the “Storm Windshield Cleaner” back in the day.

Florence Lawrence

Charlotte Bridgwood’s daughter Florence, followed in her mothers footstep adding her ideas to the automotive world with the most important customizations to date that became to foundations of standard automotive safetiness. Her invention of turn and braking signals. The turn signals were flags that would flare out of the car’s bumper at the push of a button. Her brake signal was an actual sign that said “STOP,” which popped up when the brake pedal was pressed. Lawrence never patented these ideas, but they went on to shape traffic safety forever Florence is widely credited with the invention of the first turn signalling system, as well as the first mechanical brake signal.

Emily Post

During the earlier time of the automobile age, a woman driving a vehicle was pretty rare. As one of the first writers to popularize the idea of a woman behind the wheel. Emily tells women that they do not need a chaperone in the car. According to her, it’s perfectly proper for a woman to drive herself, or even to drive a male passenger.

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy set the foundations in modern times that brought about the current technology in the vehicles that we drive today. She drew up plans for an improved traffic stoplight frequency-hopping signals. Her advances in communication technology led to today’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and, perhaps most important to modern vehicles, GPS.

Mimi Vandermolen

She led the interior design of the game-changing Ford Taurus, which included innovations such as ergonomic seats, rotary dials for climate control, a digital instrument panel and a complete suite of dashboard controls within the driver’s reach. The interior of your own car was most likely inspired by her Taurus design as her designs basically introduced a new standard in interior design to the daily driver.

Women involvement in shaping out the history in the Automotive industry is what assisted in the creation of the vehicles we drive today, and even at this very moment new innovative woman continue to lead the automotive industry with their ideas, inventions, and leadership.

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