10 curiosities that -maybe- you did not know about the windshield wipers

Did you know who invented windshield wipers, how many cleaning cycles they normally endure, or how to maintain them properly? We leave you 10 curiosities that will surely clear many doubts.

1. The invention of windshield wipers is attributed to three inventors who came up with the same idea in 1903: Mary Anderson, Robert Douglas, and John Apjohn. However, it is the American Mary Anderson who has taken the credit for this invention, as her system was the first to be effective and those of most manufacturers of the time were based on it. This mechanism was operated with a lever inside the vehicle and the spring arm was moved back and forth with a counterweight that ensured contact between the blade and the glass. The patent for this system, number 743.801, was approved by the United States Patent Office on November 10, 1903.

2. The first intermittent windshield wipers were invented by Raymond Anderson (in 1923, US patent 1.588.399); John R. Oishei Etal (US Patent 2.987.747) and John Amos (US Patent 3.262.042). But it was Robert Kearns who in 1963 invented the system that would become popular. This Detroit university professor presented the design to Ford, who rejected it, although he later offered a similar system in their cars. Kearns sued Ford in 1978 and Chrysler in 1982 for patent infringement. Ford settled and awarded him $ 10,1 million. With Chrysler he litigated until the Supreme Court of the United States, winning the judgment in 1995 and receiving 30 million dollars in compensation.

3. The first squeegee was developed by Tri-Continental in 1917. With a two-piece mechanism it became popular in automobiles of the time.

4. The Citroën 2CV originally had a mechanical windshield wiper system connected to the transmission via a cable with which the speedometer also worked. When the car was stationary, the windshield wipers did not work, and had to be operated manually with a lever. It was not until 1962 that electric windshield wipers were introduced on this model. Another Citröen, the SM from 1970, was the first car to feature automatic rain-dependent windshield wipers, with an ingenious system.

5. Bosch has the largest brush factory in the world in Tener (Belgium). It produces about 55 million wiper blades and 8 million wiper arms per year.

6. Some brushes carry out more than 750.000 sweeps of the windshield in their useful life, which means cleaning the surface of 80 football fields. It is recommended to replace them once a year or when streaks or blurred surfaces begin to appear in the field of vision when actuated. If they make noise with every movement, they should have been changed a long time ago.

7. The wear of the brushes comes, in the first place, to withstand the inclement weather: temperature fluctuations between -30 ° C and 80 ° C, and exposure to direct sunlight. Cars that are kept in a garage keep their brushes better than those that withstand the cold and direct sunlight. Secondly, wear is caused by the friction itself against the glass, which is accentuated by dirt, insects, ice ...

8. The most advisable thing is for the brushes to be installed by a professional, as incorrect placement can cause scratches on the glass. If this is not possible, Bosch brushes have a QR code on the package, which when scanned with the Smartphone leads to a video that explains their correct installation.

9. In order for the brushes to maintain their effectiveness for as long as possible, it is advisable to clean them periodically with a detergent and sponge - at least once a month - to remove any adhesion that interferes with sweeping.

10. It is not recommended to operate the windshield wipers when the glass is frozen or accumulates a lot of dust or dirt, as the surface of the wipers will be damaged. Using a windshield washer fluid improves its effectiveness and durability.

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Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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