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Women in Automotive History

Discover the history behind the world's first road trip, see the evolution of the windshield wiper and more with these women in auto history.

women in automotive

Bertha Benz and her Motorwagen paved the way for modern automobiles.

For over a century, cars and automobiles have been seen as a stereotypically male pastime. But historically, that’s simply not the case. Women have been involved in transportation innovation since the invention of the wheel. In fact, many of the gadgets and gizmos in your car and on the road were first invented by women.

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Automotive history is filled with fascinating stories about women with big ideas and bad luck with patents. No matter how much they might have been overlooked in their time, their innovations and big ideas shape the way we drive to this day. From the fabulously famous to the frequently forgotten, join us in celebrating these female auto pioneers.

Click through this slide show to explore the stories and discoveries of the most important women in automotive history.

 

Which of these women automotive pioneers do you think had the biggest impact? Let us know in the comments below! 

Comments
  • Elaine B.

    The question asked is of these auto pioneers who do you think had the biggest impact?
    My answer is Hedy Lamarr. She was brilliant!

  • Sarah H.

    It honestly amazes me how brilliant she was and how unappreciated her brilliance was during her time.
    – Sarah

  • Victoria B.

    I enjoyed reading about the pioneer women of the automotive industry, but Dorothee Pullinger’s story has a few typographical/grammar problems in the first paragraph. “Automotive” is misspelled (typographical error) and “excepted” should be “accepted.” I am also a HUGE Hedy Lamarr fan!

  • Roberta B.

    Another woman auto pioneer: Joan Newton Cuneo, who raced in the early 1900s and also did the mechanical work on her cars.

  • Thomas B.

    This article barely touches the surface. The first and one of the greatest Female industrial engineers in the automobile industry was MaryEllen Dohrs who began working at General Motors in 1950.

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