Prior to the manufacture of Henry
Ford's Model A, Mary Anderson was granted her first patent for a window
cleaning device in November of 1903. Her invention could clean snow, rain,
or sleet from a windshield by using a handle inside the car. Her goal was
to improve driver vision during stormy weather - Mary
Anderson invented the windshield wiper.
During a trip to New York City, Mary
Anderson noticed that streetcar drivers had to open the windows of their
cars when it rained in order to see, as a solution she invented a swinging
arm device with a rubber blade that was operated by the driver from within
the vehicle via a lever. The windsheld wipers became standard equipment
on all American cars by 1916.
The automobile gave women ample opportunity
for invention. In 1923, of the 345 inventions listed under "Transportation"
in the Women's Bureau Bulletin No.28, about half were related to automobiles
and another 25 concerned traffic signals and turn indicators. Among these
inventions -- a carburetor, a clutch mechanism, an electric engine starter,
and a starting mechanism.
During the 1930s, Helen Blair Bartlett
developed new insulations for spark plugs. A geologist by training, her
knowledge of petrology and mineralogy was critical in the development of
innovative uses of alumina ceramics.
Another woman inventor named Charlotte
Bridgwood invented the first automatic windshield wiper. Charlotte Bridgwood,
president of the Bridgwood Manufacturing Company of New York, patented
her electric roller-based windshield wiper called the "Storm Windshield
Cleaner" in 1917. However, her product was not a commercial success.
with >>> The
History of the Automobile.