|Streetcar New York City 1903|
|Mary Anderson (1866-1953)|
|Older photo of Mary with original patent|
For some reason, Mary let her patent expire in 1920, which would have been the start of the big auto industry boom, with the mass production of the Model T Ford. It does seem Mary's invention could have made her a fortune, but priorities obviously took her down a different path, although I can only speculate.
|1915 Ford Model T---with (Mary's) Windshield Wipers|
As an unmarried woman income was apparently not a problem. She lived comfortably, having operated a cattle ranch and vineyard in California in her early years. After a time she returned home to manage the family's real estate and care for an ailing aunt, who subsequently died and left the family a fortune.
Clearly, Mary was the inventor of the windshield wiper, and from the older picture above, she appears proud of her accomplishment. When Mary died at age 87, the New York Times and Time magazine made a point of printing her obituary and giving her special mention as its inventor.
Others have honored her as well . . .
"Windshield Wiper Inventor, Miss Mary Anderson, Dies." Birmingham Post-Herald, June 29, 1953.
"Southern Belle Invented Wiper for Windshield." Birmingham News, February 20, 1977.
Copyright 2015 © Sharon Marie Himsl