Since the invention of automobiles windshield glass has come a long way and gone through many major developments. While the purpose of the glass has remained the same, its features have only improved as time has gone on. Here is a short history of where the windshield has come and how modern windshields are much more useful than windshields 100 years ago.
- The first windshield was invented in 1904, which were simply panes of glass you placed in front of the drivers face in order to stop debris. It may have been common for drivers to wear eye protection before this point. Around this time Mary Anderson, an American inventor, invented the windshield wiper.
- In 1930 the first car rolled off the line with standard safety glass. This laminated glass cracked and fractured but held together when broken due to the lamination. This meant that a car accident meant fewer cuts and scrapes from the windshield glass.
- By the 1960s and 1970s, most cars featured tempered and laminated glass all around. Windshield glass also became lighter in order to improve fuel economy.
- In the 1990s the first cars with thermal glass were rolling off the line. This led to more and more cars having heated windshield glass as standard, and is more or less commonplace today.
- While the first heads up display was featured in the 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, they are becoming more and more popular in the 2010s. This technology allows a driver to see their speed and other information typically reserved for the instrument cluster on their windshield glass. This means drivers can always watch their speed and the road at the same time.
As time goes on windshield glass has become safer, lighter, and has more features. Hopefully windshields will only become better from here.