Wiper Story


01.  Invention of Wiper

In Wikipedia, the wiper was first invented in 1903.
Three inventors including female inventor Mary Anderson received credits for the patent of the wiper development. Among three inventors, Mary Anderson’s device is the beginning of the wiper that we use nowadays.

The story is as follows. In 1903, Mary Anderson was traveling to New York in winter season. She found a driver struggling with snow on the windshield, and thought of a tool for wiping out the snow. In conclusion, Mary received a patent for a windshield wiper which we use in present days.

02.  Types of Wiper

There are three types of wipers
First, conventional wiper blade is a common wiper that everyone can easily think of. In the past, it was installed on almost all vehicles and preferred by many customers like today. The benefit of this wiper is a low price with a good value.

Second, flat wiper blade is the 2nd generation wiper that supplements conventional wiper blade’s weaknesses, and applies to almost every imported cars. The benefit of this wiper is an excellence in design and a balance in power to wipe out the window.

Third, hybrid wiper blade combined the excellence of both conventional wiper blade and flat wiper blade which applies to latest domestic cars and a few imported cars. As a benefit, it shows higher excellence in both design and quality than any other wipers. In the near future, there will be more varieties among hybrid wiper blades to choose from.

03.  Wiper’s principle of operation

The wiper blade invented by Mary Anderson for the first time was a hand-operated wiper which caused an inconvenience for people to use. In 1971, the first automatic wiper was developed and applied to most cars afterwards. In present, all wipers in car are operated by wiper system. The Wiper system consists of the wiper blade, arm, linkage, and motor all together. When the motor moves, the energy delivers with an order of linkage to arm-wiper and this operates to wipe the window.

04.The invention of windshield wiper with speed control system

Even in 1960s, all windshield wiper for automobiles including Ford and Chrysler in the U.S were only available with on-off system. Even in rainy days, the speed of wiper was the same regardless of the rain or mist. In 1967, there was an inventor called Robert Kearns who taught engineering at college and a part-time inventor in the U.S.

On a rainy day, Kearns was uncomfortable with the wiper, and this led him to earn patent for the invention of intermittent windshield wiper system in 1967. In the meantime, the contract with Ford Motor Company failed at the last minute. This turned into a patent infringement case against Ford Motor Company.

After 12 years of lawsuit, Kearns finally won against Ford Motor Company and acquired a compensatory payment. The best known patent infringement case was revealed to the public with a movie ‘Flash of Genius’.