This Day In History: The Window Cleaning Device

Today is Forget-Me-Not Day. We at AA Muffler and Brakes haven't forgotten about the incredibly innovative Mary Anderson! In 1903, she patented a "window cleaning device for electric cars and other vehicles to remove snow, ice or sleet from the window." Does that sound familiar? It should, because we use a motorized version of Anderson's device every time we drive in the rain: Windshield Wipers!!! Now, we don’t use the exact same version of windshield wiper that Anderson invented. After a while, her manual wipers started to become too tedious for everyday use.

 Mary Anderson's illustration of her 1903 patented "window cleaning device."

Mary Anderson's illustration of her 1903 patented "window cleaning device."

Later Charlotte Bridgwood would improve upon Anderson's invention, patenting her own “automatic” windshield wipers. Unfortunately, unlike Anderson, Bridgwood failed to seek any commercial production for her automatic wipers and her patent soon expired. A few years later, Cadillac would become the first car company to install automatic windshield wipers in every vehicle they manufactured.