Over the years the car windshield has been updated and improved to protect car passengers as best as possible. However, windshields were not always a staple of vehicles like they are today. The first gas powered car was manufactured in the late 1880’s, and the first windshield was not made until about 15 years later! We will now discuss the innovative history of the car windshield, and the improvements it has undergone to become what it is today.
As mentioned before, the very first car owners went without windshields for about 15 years! At first windshields were seen more as a luxury add-on feature for cars, and most car owners did not care to get them for their vehicles. Without a windshield, passengers were fully exposed to the elements, and had to find a way to protect themselves from the dirt, dust and wind of the road.
This is when motoring clothes became popular. Motoring clothes usually consisted of a long jacket that would cover you from head to toe and was made of a heavy material like leather, or for colder climates fur. Passengers would also wear protective goggles and/or hats to protect their faces from outside forces as well. Motoring clothes became all the rage, some car owners would even spend as much money on their motoring clothes as they did on their cars!
By 1915 almost all major car manufactures recognized how important windshields were and began making them a standard for all cars. As windshields became more and more popular, Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motors, realized there was still room for improvement. Ford began making their windshields stronger by using laminated glass. Laminated glass prevents windshields from shattering easily to protect passengers in event of a crash.
Later, in the 1930s tempered glass began to replace laminated glass. Tempered glass is a thinner yet surprisingly stronger glass. Both types of glasses are still commonly used for windshields today.
Car Windshield Wipers
The safety of cars continued to increase with the invention of windshield wipers. The original windshield wiper was invented in 1903 but did not become popular until about 10 years later. People did not accept the idea of windshield wipers at first because they thought the movement would distract drivers and cause accidents, but they eventually caught on. The original windshield wiper was made from wood and rubber and was controlled manually by a lever inside the car. It wasn’t until 1922 when the first automatic windshield wiper was patented and was soon standard on all vehicles.
In 1970 it became clear that automobiles and automobile manufacturers needed set guidelines and safety standards to make the roadways as safe as possible. This was when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was formed. The NHTSA is responsible for identifying vehicle defects, setting safety standards for cars and trucks, and educating drivers to help them make safer choices when driving.
The windshield has come a long way over the years and continues to improve over time. It is one of the most important parts of your car which is why you always want to keep it in great condition! Have a crack or chip in it? Let us fix it up for you before it gets any worse! Or if you just need a good cleaning, we can help you with that too! Get a quote online or call us today at 800-642-7373!