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MBHB Celebrates Women’s History Month: Inventor Mary Anderson

March 22, 2021

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP is proud to celebrate Women’s History Month in March in recognition of it as an annual celebration of achievements by women in spotlighting their critical role in U.S. history. In this regard, we are highlighting noteworthy women inventors whose creations changed the world.

Mary Anderson was granted a  patent for inventing an automatic car window cleaning device controlled from inside a vehicle, otherwise known as the windshield wiper blade. Anderson’s invention consisted of a lever inside the vehicle that controlled a rubber blade mounted on a spring-loaded arm on the outside of the windshield (initially for a trolley car). In 1903, when she was granted the patent, cars were not yet very common. However, by the 1920’s Cadillac became the first automobile maker to include a windshield wiper on all its vehicles, with others soon following suit in making it standard equipment.