Sometimes ideas float into our minds that are absolutely spectacular; we wonder why no one else ever thought of it before. Inventors are a creative breed. They can take ideas and do the work to make it happen. The result is not as important as is the process. Risk and reward live together. Every now and then an idea and product take off and become a viral sensation!
When that happens, you can bet that somewhere in the world, someone is saying to themselves, ‘I thought of that!” wondering what if. This did not happen to one inventor. James A. Hamm of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania filed a United States patent November 1, 1957 (Application Serial No. 693,955 2 Claims Cl. -25015) for a new invention.
The invention related to the manufacture of windshield wiper blades. Specifically, Hamm’s brainchild was new, improved, heated windshield wipers. The appeal is readily noticed during winter months when heavy frosting occurs on windshields. Vision is severely reduced creating driving hazards that have resulted in accidents.
Hamm’s plan was the first to be created with little serious modifications or redesign of the existing blade-supporting components. The oscillation mechanisms, hinges, and axials are already in place. Hamm took his idea and built it on the current framework. Thus, he took the product up to the next level for the new generation.
Top professionals and industry use heated windshield wipers. The debris-clearing benefits and heating component, to prevent snow and ice build-up,is the key activity to this products’ triumph. Major windshield problems, such as vision impairment, streaks, frozen debris, are daily occurrences for people who live in harsh weather areas.
First responders to emergency situations must have easy access, clear visibility, and direct routes to disasters. Professional drivers, school and tourist bus operators, snow plow trucks, delivery and private vehicles all require devices to get the job done safer. No one can take the time to stop and manually remove ice and snow from the windshield.
21st Century: Building on Innovation
Today, there is a new type of wiper system that is a high-tech solution to the age old problem. A moisture-sensing wiper is cutting-edge innovation. Optical sensors that are mounted inside the windshield near the rear-view mirror detect moisture. A radar beam of light is shined toward the windshield at a 45-degree angle. Dry glass will direct the light back straight back. Wet glass scatters the light in multiple directions. The wetter the glass, the less light reflects back into the sensor. Wiper blade speed is automatically adjusted as moisture increases.
Never fear! Looking back, previous ideas that did not make it were vibration detection of raindrops, windshield application of a special coating to prevent drops from forming, and ultrasonic vibrating windshields to break up droplets!
Do you remember when cup holders never existed? Inventors and the automotive industry are always looking for new ways to do things. We now have laser-powered headlights, air-conditions seats, and in-car Internet.
Everything starts from somewhere. We continue to build on our predecessors’ ideas, thoughts, and designs. We make them our own for the slice of time that we live in. Take your ideas and run with them!