Again, competition creeps in like a vulture. In 1919, William Folberth applied for a patent for the first motorized windshield wiper system. The patent was granted in 1922 for the vacuum powered wiper system. Vacuum is a by-product of the operation of the automotive engine and was tapped to power his design. Vacuum powered wipers were installed as standard equipment until approximately 1960. As the owner of the Folberth Auto Specialty Company of Cleveland, Ohio, a dispute arose between Folberth and the Tri-Continental Corporation.
The birth of TRICO.
Tri-Continental became known as TRICO and has become one of the world's leading producers of windshield wiper blades and refills. Another development of this company was the air-powered wiper systems for trucks, military vehicles and diesel powered boats.
A change comes in the late 1950's.
The late 1950's and 1960's saw the changeover to electric motor powered wipers. While an intermittent wash system was in use for vacuum powered systems, electric motors maintained their speed and allowed more versatility in various speeds and modes of operation and allowed for a larger wiper size and larger windshields.
The development of intermittent wipers.
Robert Kearnes, an engineering professor at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, invented the modern intermittent wiper system which was offered for the first time on the 1969 Mercury line produced by the Ford Motor Company. Kearnes claims to have come up with the idea from the human eye lid action which sweeps across the surface intermittently.
Keeping the headlights clean and bright.
1970 was to see the introduction the newest major advancement in wiper technology with all the introduction of the headlight wiper from the Saab Automobile company. These never have seen a wide range of usage in the United States except on cars which come so equipped.
When Trey isn't online, he's usually getting his hands greasy within his auto repair center. Along with his 12 years of experience being employed as an auto mechanic, Trey enjoys discovering computer-programming. He is the creator of Size My Wipers, an interactive tool for helping people discover the right wiper size for vehicles.
Guide: How to Replace Windshield Wipers on Your Car (Easy)