Mary Anderson was the Alabama-born inventor of the windshield wiper. Anderson began formulating the idea while on a trip from Alabama to New York City during the winter of 1902. She couldn’t help but notice drivers of streetcars struggling to keep their windshields clean. Drivers were continually stopping their vehicles to clear snow and ice off of their windshields. Other drivers would drive with their window open so they could reach around to clear their windshield. Shortly after considering this driving difficulty, Anderson developed a hand-operated wiper that a driver could operate from inside their vehicle. She received a patent for her wiper device in 1905. In spite of Anderson’s invention, it would be many years before automatic wipers became standard equipment on North American vehicles. Mary Anderson lived a very private life and died in 1953 at the age of 87.
Source for additional information
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) School of Engineering (2001, September). Mary Anderson: Windshield Wipers. Inventor of the Week Archive. http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/anderson.html.
Anne Boleyn [web site]. http://englishhistory.net/tudor/monarchs/boleyn.html.
Eakins, L.E. (1995). Anne Boleyn: The Most Happy. http://tudorhistory.org/boleyn/.