This Alabama belle is often confused with a labor organizer by the name of Mary Anderson. We do know that she took a trip to New York City where she took her sketchpad and made a diagram of her invention, the windshield wipers.
On those rainy days, we always find that the windshield wipers on our car are very useful. We tend to take them for granted. How would we manage without them on those stormy and rainy days?
The inventor of the windshield wipers was Mary Anderson. While Mary found herself to be a passenger on a streetcar on New York, she was aware that the driver had to periodically stop and wipe the windows. On some occasions the driver would open the windows so that he/she could see to drive. When drivers were subject to inclement weather such as snowstorms, they were inclined to stop the vehicle. This was done so that they were able to wipe the snow off of the windshield and windows. With this situation in mind, Mary invented the windshield wipers in 1903 and a patent was issued in 1905. By 1916, the windshield wipers were a standard feature on all American cars.
As she was watching the motorman of the streetcar clean the windows and windshield, she felt it would be an easy task to create a device for cleaning the windshield. All she needed to do was invent something inside of the car, such as a lever, that would swing an arm over the windshield to provide visibility to the driver.
Mary Anderson became the topic of most people’s conversation as she was laughed at because of her idea for the windshield wipers. The laughter did not last long. Of course, the laughter stopped in 1905 when a patent was issued for the windshield wipers. During this time period, most people did not even think of windshield wipers. Not only did Mary notice the motormen removed snow and ice from windshields, but also most drivers were doing the same.
She knew that motorists needed a way to turn on the windshield wipers from inside of the car. Therefore, she began to brainstorm to devise a plan for this device. The first windshield wipers to be invented were rubber blades attached to an arm. A lever was also installed in the cars for movement of the wipers. The blades would swing across the windshield attached to a spring-loaded arm. The spring-loaded arm would cause the blades to swing across the windshield and then return to the original position.
Before Mary’s invention other people had tried this concept, but with no avail. They felt the movement of the windshield wipers would distract the drivers. After the winter season was over, the windshield wipers were removed! The invention of the windshield wipers has created a necessary feature on all cars, which make driving through storms safer and easier.
Not too long after the mechanical windshield wiper was invented, the automatic windshield wiper was also invented.