marking each day …

1909 – The invention of Windshield Wipers for vehicles

Toronto. We make regular use of patent drawings in our various research endeavours and publications to illustrate and validate once new and unique objects and processes – cameras, lenses, darkroom apparatus, prints, etc.

Many days, the Globe and Mail, on page two of section A uses a fact and illustration to cover an event which took place on that day in history. The column, called, Moment in Time, is a favourite of mine and a source of little known facts.

For example, on November 10, 1903 the windsheild wipers we take for granted today were invented. In the story, Salmaan Farooqui, uses a patent drawing as an illustration noting that the concept was invented by a Ms Mary Anderson of Birmingham Alabama.

Initially, the idea was derided – even in Canada where it was rejected by a company in 1905. But around a decade after its invention, windshield wipers became common-place accessories on motor vehicles.

As a kid, I can remember vacuum operated wipers that stalled as my dad’s car lumbered up hill and just as suddenly flipped frantically back and forth as the car rolled down hill once again.

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