- Tip: Navigate with your left and right arrow keys1Invention: Windshield Wipers
Real estate developer, rancher and viticulturist Mary Anderson added inventor to her resume in 1903 when she patented the first effective set of windshield wipers. Anderson was living in New York City at the time and noticed that the trolley car on which she was riding had an open front windshield. The open window was necessary to allow the driver to see the road under falling sleet, but was less than optimal for the freezing passengers within.
Accordingly, Mary Anderson invented what would become the first working version of windshield wipers featuring a rubber blade attached to a spring-loaded arm that could move across the windshield to clear snow, ice and rain. She received a patent for the ice and attempted to sell the rights to the gadget however her potential buyer didn't feel the idea would ever amount to anything and declined. Fast forward about a century and the so-called useless idea is now standard on cars, trucks, busses and dozens of other things with wheels.
Age: Died at 87 (1866-1953)
Birthplace: Alabama, United States of America
Profession: Real estate development, Cattle Rancher, Inventor
Place Of Death: Monteagle, Tennessee, United States of America
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