facts about the invention
Windshield Wipers by Mary Anderson in 1903..
|The first mechanical windshield
wipers had to be operated by hand! Either the driver or a passenger had to
work a crank to make the wipers go back and forth.
|Mary Anderson, from New York City, was awarded a
patent in 1903 for a window cleaning device. Once the invention was protected by patent,
she tried to interest companies into producing the device. No one was interested, so Mary
put the patent in a drawer and eventually it expired.
With closed bodywork generally available during the 20ís, cars were equipped
with windowed doors to protect passengers from bad weather and dust. From
1916, manual windshield wipers replaced squeegees.
wipers were invented in 1921. Called "Folberths," after their inventors,
Fred and Willaim Folberth, they were powered by an "air engine," a device
connected by a tube to the inlet pipe of the carís motor.
version, attached to the top of the windshield, was created by Bosch in
1926, but was reserved only for luxury models.
Robert Kearns (1928-2005)
patented intermittent powered wipers in 1967. He demonstrated the system to
Ford Motor Company, which introduced automobiles with intermittent wipers in
1978. Other automakers soon followed.
Robert W. Kearns spent years in
litigation against Ford Motor and Chrysler for using his idea, and
eventually won multimillion-dollar judgments. Robert Kearns, 77, died
February 26, 2005.
TO LEARN MORE
Women Inventors, A Class Act
The Great Idea Finder
from The Great Idea Finder
ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Kid Who Invented the Popsicle: And Other Surprising Stories About Inventions
by Don L. Wulffson / Paperback - 128 pages (1999) / Puffin
Brief factual stories about how various familiar things were invented, many by accident,
from animal crackers to the zipper.
Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women
by Catherine Thimmesh, Melissa Sweet / Hardcover - 64 pages (2000) /
A dozen women are profiled in this collection of short, anecdotal biographies
demonstrating that necessity, ingenuity, and luck all play a part in successful
inventions. The final section tells girls how to patent their inventions, and an informed
bibliography will do just that.
by Ethlie Ann Vare, Greg Ptacek / Hardcover - 240 pages (November 9, 2001)
/ John Wiley & Sons
Patently Female will reveal the stories behind
remarkable innovations, and introduce you to the even more remarkable women who made them.
Invent: Two Centuries of Discoveries That Have Shaped Our World
by Susan Casey / Paperback
- 144 pages (October 1997) / Chicago Review Press
These inspiring stories of women inventors take the
reader on a step-by-step journey through the process of inventing.
ON THE WEB:
Mary Anderson, Inventor of the Windshield Wiper
At the turn of the century, most
people didn't drive cars. In the country, people still traveled in
horse-drawn vehicles. In the city, public transportation was available in
the form of the streetcar. Article
by Sharon Fabian for edHelper.
Invention Dimension - Inventor of the Week
Celebrates inventor/innovator role models through outreach activities
and annual awards to inspire a new generation of American scientists,
engineers, and entrepreneurs.
Mechanical Windshield Wipers
Mary never sold her invention but by 1913 mechanical windshield wipers were
standard equipment on American cars.
- Southern Belle with a Brain
Mary had an idea. She made a quick drawing in her sketchbook. Her device,
which would be patented a year later, allowed the motorman to manipulate a
lever from the inside that "activated a swinging arm that mechanically swept
off the ice and snow."
Psa-Peugeot-Citroen Web Magazine
From 1916, manual windshield wipers replaced squeegees. Folberth would make
them automatic five years later. The electric version, attached to the top
of the windshield, was created by Bosch in 1926, but was reserved only for
Windshield Wipers-Past Imperfect
W M Folberth introduced a wiper powered by a double-acting air engine
connected to the car's engine. Article in the Irish Times from the archives
of Bob Montgomery, motoring historian
February 25, 2005; The AP reported that Robert Kearns, the inventor of
intermittent windshield wipers who won multimillion-dollar judgments against
Ford and Chrysler for using his idea, has died. He was 77. Article from the
Auto Channel site.
Many people teased her for her invention but that did not discourage her.
Article at ThinkQuest.
Sources in BOLD Type
page revised April, 2005.
Berners-Lee's invention has revolutionized the world like nothing
The invention of the Internet,
should be classed with the greatest events of the 20th Century.
The Aero Sport All-Terrain Bed
with Dual Power Pump is the perfect addition to any camping trip or weekend
book, is the perfect desktop reference for both the science novice and the
technologically advanced reader alike.
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