History of the windshield wiper blade — Who invented the windshield wiper blade?
It’s amazing that someone even needed to invent a windshield wiper blade or that vehicles didn’t have them before they were invented. But Mary Anderson apparently couldn’t take it anymore after watching a trolley car driver stop to wipe sleet off the windshield. So she got the idea and filed for a U.S. Patent on the wiper blades we know today. She never made a dime off of her invention.
According to the History Channel, Mary simply couldn’t find any takers for her groundbreaking invention:
“When she received her patent, Anderson tried to sell it to a Canadian manufacturing firm, but the company refused: The device had no practical value, it said, and so was not worth any money. Though mechanical windshield wipers were standard equipment in passenger cars by around 1913, Anderson never profited from the invention.
People scoffed at Anderson’s invention, saying that the wipers’ movement would distract the driver and cause accidents. Her patent expired before she could entice anyone to use her idea.” http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/mary-anderson-patents-windshield-wiper
Mary was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 2011.
What’s the irony?
At age 35, inventor John Anderson founded the Anderson Company in South Bend, IN to make manifold and ignition timers for Ford’s Model T. According to his biography, he was driving on a rainy night in 1925 and needed a new wiper blade insert. He couldn’t find a replacement. So his company started making replacement windshield wiper blades and inserts under the ANCO brand name. ANCO wipers became one of the top name brands in the U.S. ANCO is still made and owned by Federal-Mogul,
Both the inventor and supreme marketer were named Anderson. John Anderson was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1972
TRICO Wiper Blades
Trico, known as the Tri-Continental Corporation, invented a windshield wiper blade in 1917. Trico is today one of the leading manufacturers of windshield wiping systems, windshield wiper blades and refills globally, with wiper plants on five continents.
Anco, Trico and First Brands Group
Anco and Trico are both owned and operated by First Brands Group. First Brands also owns:
• Raybestos complete brake solutions
• Centric Parts replacement brake components
• FRAM filtration products
• Champion Laboratories Inc.
• LuberFiner filtration products,
• Carter fuel and water pumps (Airtex Fuel Pumps and ASC Water Pumps)
• Autolite spark plugs
• StrongArm lift supports
©, 2017 Rick Muscoplat
Posted on by Rick Muscoplat