Imagine driving through rough weather when it is raining cats and dogs and you realize that your windshield wipers are not working!
Credit for the invention of windshield wipers completely goes to Mary Anderson. Others too had tried their hand at making similar devices but her Anderson’s invention was the most effective.
Mary Anderson was a a real estate developer and rancher in Alabama. In 1902, while she was travelling to New York City in a trolley car, her driver had to open the panes of the front window in order to see through falling sleet. After returning to Alabama, she started to work on a solution and was successful in designing a manually operated device. Her device consisted of a rubber blade which was controlled using a lever inside the car. She was granted a patent in 1903.
Car manufacturers were initially wary of her invention. A Canadian firm rejected her invention in 1905 when she wanted to sell the rights. With the expiration of her patent in 1920 and growth of automobile industry, windshield wipers using Anderson’s design were soon widely accepted. Cadillac became the first car manufacturer to include a windshield wipers on all its vehicles.