Trove Tuesday – A Lady Motorist

I just love this story:

Driving a Beeston Humberette, Florence Thompson travelled from Adelaide to Melbourne in March 1904 earning her the title of the first female to drive the trip.  Spurred on by her dentist husband Ben’s achievements in 1902, completing the same trip, Florence was a nothing short of a trail blazer.

The trip was not without its problems, but the thick sands of the Coorong, limited petrol availability, a puncture and a leaky radiator did not stop Florence.  Lucky she took a mechanic along with her.

A LADY MOTORIST. (1904, March 28). The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 – 1918), p. 1. Retrieved November 21, 2012, from


Florence did not stop there.  In 1905, she competed in the Dunlop Reliability rally from Sydney to Melbourne.  Some mechanical problems at Albury looked as though they would stop Florence, but she made it to Melbourne to great adulation.


(1905, March 1). Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 – 1907), p. 52. Retrieved November 26, 2012, from

Mrs Florence Thompson was truly a motoring pioneer as was her husband Ben.  Both had adventurous spirits and how many men in 1904 would have not only allowed their wife to do what she did, accompanied with another man too, but fully encourage her?  To see a picture of Florence and Ben in 1903, follow this link and go to page 18 – Serpolette’s Tricycle


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