Mary Anderson Invented The Windscreen Wiper Controlled From Inside A Vehicle
Mary Anderson was a real estate developer in Birmingham. Later, she moved to California to operate a ranch and a vineyard. In 1903 she went on a visit to New York during winter. She noticed that a trolley car driver couldn’t see well through the window because of the falling sleet and had to wipe the windscreen with his hands, which seemed inconvenient. Although Anderson wasn’t an engineer, she was an entrepreneur and saw that there was room for a solution to this problem. She hired a designer to make a hand-operated device you could use to wipe the window without getting out of your car. Similar devices had been made earlier, but Anderson's was the first windshield-clearing device to be effective. In 1903, when Anderson applied for the patent, cars were not very popular and she didn’t profit from her invention, but later, when cars were starting to be mass produced, Anderson's basic design became standard equipment.