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March 16, 2013


by yourewelcomeca


The invention of the windshield wiper might be attributed to Mary Anderson in 1905. The windshield she invented, however, is not the standard equipment we currently see on all cars.

What cars currently use is the same principle of the windshield wiper system invented by Anderson, but with a small variation of a genius called Robert Kearns.

Kearns suffered from vision problems in his left eye. One night in 1963, while he was driving under light rain, he noticed that the constant movement of the wiper blades irritated his already troubled vision. Then, he thought about how our eyes blink every other second rather than continuously. So he modified his windshield wiper engine with intermittent levels.

He patented his invention, and offered it to the “Big Three” Automobile Manufacturers in the US. They all rejected his proposal, yet began installing intermittent windshield wipers in their cars.

Almost 25 years later, after intense court battles with Chrysler Corporation and Ford Motor Company, he received an estimated of $40 million for patent infringement.

Source: Flash Of Genius (2008)

Photo Credit: ShutterStock


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