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5 Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Windshields

Much More Than a Breeze Blocker

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The windshield is something that many of us take for granted every day of our lives. Driving is such a commonplace activity in the modern world that we often forget the necessity it truly is. It seems only proper that there are some things you may not know about the windshield. It is a wonderful invention that brings a great deal of convenience to our lives, so it is only right to know a few more things about it.

1. Early Windshields were a Luxury Item

For those dashing folks who could spare a few extra cents, the windshield was an extra feature that could be purchased for cars. This was in case the goggles and scarves weren't your style.

2. The Origin of the Shatter-Resistant Windshield

Originally, the windshield was made of normal, everyday pane glass. The secret to the shatter-resistant glass was discovered by a French chemist named Edouard Benedictus when he accidentally dropped a glass flask which was filled with collodion. The glass cracked, but retained its initial shape. Though this was discovered in the early 20th Century, it was not employed in automobile glass until around 1920.

3. Windshield Wipers Came Along in the Early 1900s too.

The windshield wiper was actually invented in 1903 by a woman named Mary Anderson. She was in New York City on a cold day and noticed that a trolly car could not keep the falling snow off the windshield, so she applied for and was granted a patent for an early version of the windshield wiper in 1903.

4. Temperature is not a windshield's friend

On a cold morning, when your windshield is frozen over, it may be highly tempting to try and melt the ice with hot water. Don't do this! The extreme change in temperature will cause the glass of the windshield to expand too quickly and then crack!

5. Fixing a windshield is not as big of a hassle as you might think.

View this video on YouTube

Unlike some repairs where the entire car has to be overhauled to remove one little piece, a windshield can be removed without too much hassle. Putting in a new windshield, however, is a lot trickier. Imagine the process of putting in a contact lens, and it's not too far off. Companies like All-West Glass Ltd., that does auto glass repair in Edmonton, use specialized robot arms or handles with suction cups to carefully replace your windshield. If it is crooked, or the seal around the windshield isn't set right, it could pop out while you are driving, or just blasting your speakers like this guy:

Though it wouldn't appear as such, the windshield has a fascinating history. From luxury to necessity, our lives would not be the same without the windshield.

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