Pump the Brakes!

by Daryl gungadoo

The last several months of KidsView have explored aviation and airplanes looking for a spiritual lesson for our lives. This month we take a look at vehicles—in this case, a car. 

Bertha Benz, from Mannheim, Germany, invented the brake pad in 1888. Bertha helped her husband, Karl, design the world’s first motorcar, so she was very aware of the different parts involved in one. 

In August 1888 she took the first road trip by car with her sons to prove the road-worthiness of her husband’s invention. Some believe that she didn’t even tell her husband, but believed in his product so much, she surprised him. She traveled 66 miles (106 km). This is believed to be the first long-distance journey ever done by car. 

Along the way Bertha made many repairs to the vehicle, including stopping off at a cobbler’s to have the wooden brake shoes covered in leather pads, which turned into her inventing the brake pad! She also stopped to fuel her car at a town pharmacy making it the first “fuel or gas station” stop ever! Maybe you have heard of the car brand Mercedes-Benz? Well, now you know that the name refers to both Bertha and Karl. 

Brake pads are also found on bicycles, and are usually made of black rubber. The principle is the same for cars and bikes. The pressure applied by the pads on the wheel causes friction and slows down the vehicle. While brake pads are small and often unnoticeable, they save lives every day. 

Remember what the Bible says about how we speak, and how important is applying the “brakes” to things that come out of our mouths. 

“Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity” (Prov. 21:23). 

“Take ships as an example. Although they are so large and driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go” (James 3:4).