Close up of a windshield wiper wiping away rain drops on a car windshield

Mary Anderson: The Woman Who Set Windshield Wipers in Motion

On a wet and freezing winter day in the early 1900s, Mary Anderson sat in a trolley as it made its way through New York City's crowded streets. From her seat, she watched the driver squint through a large, multi-pane windshield, trying to see through sheets of sleet that continuously accumulated on the glass. Existing windshields at the time were...

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Black and white portrait of Emily Post wearing a formal dress with lace sleeves.

Emily Post: Trailblazer, Author & Roadtripper

For millions of Americans, the name Emily Post is synonymous with etiquette. But before she became a cultural icon for expounding timeless advice on weddings, business, and entertaining, Post was writing about her automotive adventures. She became one of the earliest road trippers when she took a writing assignment that had her driving coast to coast across the U.S. Her...

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White race car crossing the finish line

How Janet Guthrie Changed Racing History

Janet Guthrie grew up seeking danger and adventure. After a failed bid to become an astronaut in 1964, Iowa-born Guthrie changed racing history by entering the world of motor sports. With her path inspired by adventurous parents — both pilots — and her own inquisitive nature, Guthrie learned to fly planes by the age of 16. She went on to...

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Black and white head and shoulder portrait of Hedy Lamarr in an off the shoulder dress and stunning jewelry

Hertz How Actress Hedy Lamarr Laid the Foundation for GPS

She starred in movies with Jimmy Stewart and Clark Gable, and her beauty was the inspiration behind the looks for Catwoman and Disney's Snow White. But if you think Hedy Lamarr was just a pretty face, think again. The Austrian actress – who fled pre-war Europe and the Nazis – invented technology in the 1940s that laid the foundation for...

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Early black and white portrait of a female racecar driver wearing a cap, googles and race suit from the side profile in a topless car.

Louise Smith: The First Lady of NASCAR

In the 1940s, racing promoter Bill France, Sr. was looking for ways to attract more women to the sport. What he needed, he decided, was a female driver who could handle the challenges of the track and hopefully bring more women out to the races. He found his driver in Greenville, South Carolina, in a woman named Louise Smith. Rumor...

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Black and white photo of Bertha Benz and her husband Karl in a Benz Viktoria car

Bertha Benz: The First Lady of Solo Driving

Bertha Benz was the kind of woman who wasn't satisfied riding shotgun — she demanded to take the wheel. In the late 1800s, it would have been easy for this wife and mother to let her inventor husband, Karl Benz, keep the spotlight all to himself. Instead, she climbed into the driver's seat and changed history. In addition to earning...

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Black and white photo of Alice Huyler wearing a hat

Alice Ramsey: The Original Road-Tripper

Alice Huyler Ramsey was just 22 years old when she decided to drive across the country. Although that might seem like only a slightly impressive accomplishment in these modern times, Ramsey's journey is significant because she was the first woman to attempt such a trip. Six years had passed since a man completed the first cross-country trip, which made Ramsey's...

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A sunny morning in Paris, France with the Eiffel Tower in the distance

Driven Women: How Two Frenchwomen Changed the Face of Driving

In April of 1898, Anne de Mortemart, the Duchess of Uzès, drove proudly through the streets of Paris in a Delahaye Break. As one of the early clients of automobile pioneer Émile Delahaye, Mortemart was the first woman in France to obtain a driver's license. The Duchess passed her "car driver" examination in a belt-driven vehicle created and manufactured by...

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Front view of a silver 2017 Chevrolet Volt hybrid car on display at an auto show on a busy afternoon.

How Mary Barra Became the First Female CEO of an International Automaker

Taking the wheel in 2014 as the first female CEO of a major international automaker, Mary Barra has driven General Motors to a succession of firsts in the automotive industry in a few short years. Born into a Motor City family, she began working as a college co-op student in the Pontiac Motors Division. Thirty-eight years later, as GM's Chairwoman...

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Grunge film frame background from a vintage silent movie film

How a Silent Film Star Changed the Automotive World

Born Florence Bridgwood to vaudeville actress Lotta Lawrence, Florence Lawrence took her mother's stage surname upon entering the film industry as an actress in 1906. She rose to fame as a silent film starlet, but she was also an avid automobile enthusiast who liked to tinker with vehicles from that early era, a passion that played a major role in...

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