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Engagement photo of Princess Victoria Louise and Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick, February 11, 1913

Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia and Ernest August, Duke of Brunswick, married May 24, 1913

Guests included Kaiser Wilhelm II (father of the bride), Empress Augusta (mother of the bride), the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland (the grooms parents), Tsar Nicholas II, George V and Queen Mary. Their wedding was one of the final great gatherings of European royalty before the outbreak of the Great War.

Princess Victoria Louise with dachshund, ca. 1910

Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia, 1910

Bertha Benz, wife and business partner of automobile inventor Karl Benz, drives the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, ca. 1886.

Note: Bertha is credited as being the first person to ever drive a motor vehicle over a long distance.

On 5 August 1886, without telling her husband and without permission of the authorities, Benz drove with her sons Richard and Eugen, thirteen and fifteen years old, in one of the newly constructed Patent Motorwagenautomobiles—from Mannheim to Pforzheim—becoming the first person to drive an automobile over a real distance. Motorized drives before this historic trip were merely very short trial drives, returning to the point of origin, made with mechanical assistants. This pioneering tour had a one-way distance of about 106 km (66 mi).

As well as being the driver, Benz acted as mechanic on the drive, cleaning the carburetor with her hat pin and using a garter to insulate a wire. She refueled at the local pharmacy in Wiesloch and as the brakes wore down, Benz asked a local shoemaker to nail leather on the brake blocks, in doing so, inventing brake lining on the way. After sending a telegram to her husband of the arrival in Pforzheim, she spent the night at her mother’s house and returned home three days later. The trip covered 194 km (121 mi) in total.

Anna Q. Nilsson stands with a Packard sedan on a Hollywood set, 1925

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