Luella Bates was born on October 17, 1897.
During WW1 she was a test driver for the Four Wheel Drive Auto Company. She traveled throughout the state of Wisconsin in a Model B truck.
After the war and when many women left the workforce, Bates remained at the Four Wheel Drive Company.
In January 1920, Bates traveled to New York for the New York Auto Show, where she met Secretary of State Francis Hugo.
Bates was the first woman truck driver to receive a license in New York.
In 1920, Bates was sent on her first interstate tour as a part of an advertising campaign for FWD and Francis Hugo’s Safety First Campaign.
She visited 25 towns, beginning in Kansas City and completed her tour in Belefontaine, Ohio.
In May 1920, Popular Science magazine called Bates “exhibit A for feminine efficiency.”
In addition to being a driver, Bates was also considered an expert mechanic.
Thanks for paving the way!
Hammer down, ladies!