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5 Interesting Windshield Facts

Every summer our family would take a road trip, it was the highlight of the year for us. We gathered throughout the winter planning our next nomadic adventure.

The joy we had touring our great country and seeing magnificent sights was a long-standing tradition.

Our beloved family car went into our local NOVUS Glass shop to get some windshield cleaning products and a thorough inspection of all the glass components in our vehicle. Their meticulous examination aimed to identify any potential cracks or chips that might require windshield repair or auto glass replacement services.

At NOVUS Glass, their expertise extends beyond just repairing minor damages. They also offer windshield wiper replacement services to ensure optimal visibility during unpredictable weather conditions. Moreover, if your windshield happens to sustain any unsightly scratches along your journey, NOVUS technicians possess the skills and techniques necessary for effective windshield scratch repair.

One neat thing about the NOVUS Glass shop we went to was a list of 5 interesting auto glass facts.

This is the list, to the best of my recollection:

  • Windshield Wipers were invented by Mary Anderson
  • Heated Windshields were first attempted in the 1970’s
  • The first windshield appeared in 1904.
  • Curved Windshields were developed in the 1930’s
  • Windshield Safety Glass mandated in the 1950’s


The Windshield Wiper:

Mary Anderson (1866-1953) was an American inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist invented the windshield wiper in1903.

A great article and actual picture of Mary Anderson:

She was an inventor, real estate developer, and successful businesswoman.

While in New York City in 1903, she saw streetcar drivers struggling to see through their windshield in snowy and rainy conditions.

She developed manually operated wipers that could be operated from inside the car. This led to her invention and patent.

Unfortunately, Anderson’s invention was met with skepticism from car manufacturers, who did not see the need for windshield wipers.

It wasn’t until the 1920s that windshield wipers became standard equipment on most cars.

Interestingly another woman Charlotte Bridgwood filed a patent in 1917 for electric wipers. A first practical application occurred was accepted from William M. Folberth.

He was an engineer at the Trico Corporation which is still in business to this day.

Heated Windshields

The first heated windshield was in the Lincoln Continental Mark IV and Ford Thunderbird in the 70’s.

It had mixed reviews with some technical issues, but it had no visible heating wires and could clear the screen in three minutes.

It did add complexity to windshield repairs and windshield replacement efforts, but it was worth it due to its functionality.

We have advanced a million miles more currently, but heated windshields are still not for everyone.

Heated windshields are a common feature in many luxury cars and SUVs, especially in Northern climates.

A thin layer of indium tin oxide (ITO) wire that is embedded between the two layers of glass in the windshield. The current in the wire heats the windshield and voila, snow be gone.

Once again, with auto glass repairs complexity is increased. NOVUS Glass constantly trains its technicians in the latest techniques. Our training ensures windshield repairs and windshield replacement work is top notch.

In addition to improving visibility, they can also help to extend the life of the windshield by reducing damage from manual scraping or impact with ice and debris.

Heated windshields and defrosted windshields both play an important role in improving visibility.

The First Windshield

The first car windshield appeared in 1904 and the first windshield repair came later that month. 😊

Initially cars came without any windshields at all. The first ones tried were made of regular windowpane glass. This stopped some bugs but was an incredible safety hazard for the car’s inhabitants.

The next iteration was invented by Edouard Benedictus who is credited for inventing laminated glass. This helped reduce flying shards of glass in the case of road unpleasantness.

Today we have tempered glass which is designed to shatter and stay in place. This helps ensure driver and passenger safety even more.

What it tempered glass?

Tempered glass is a type of safety glass that is treated with heat and chemicals to make it stronger and more durable than regular glass. During the manufacturing process, the glass is heated to a high temperature and then rapidly cooled, which makes it up to five times stronger than regular glass.

The reason tempered glass is safer it is less likely to shatter into sharp, jagged pieces when it breaks. Instead, tempered glass will break into small, rounded pieces that are less likely to cause injury.

Tempered glass is also able to withstand changes in temperature and pressure better than regular glass, which is particularly important for car windows. In addition, tempered glass is more resistant to scratches and other types of damage. This helps you avoid any windshield glass repair or replacement for a cracked windshield.

Curved Windshields

Are you interested to know when the first curved windshield car came? In the early days of automobiles, windshields were typically flat and made of either plain or safety glass. However, as cars became faster and more aerodynamic, designers wanted something better.

One of the first cars to feature a curved windshield was the 1934 Chrysler Airflow, which was designed with input from aviation engineers.

The car’s sleek, aerodynamic shape was intended to reduce wind resistance and improve performance, and the curved windshield was an essential part of this design.

Other automakers quickly followed suit, and by the late 1930s, curved windshields had become a common feature on many cars. In addition to improving aerodynamics, curved windshields also offered improved visibility for drivers by providing a wider field of view.

There are several advantages to using curved windshields in automobiles, which is why they have become a standard feature in modern car design. Here are some of the benefits of curved windshields:

1. Aerodynamics: Curved windshields are more aerodynamic than flat windshields, which can help reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency. By reducing wind resistance, curved windshields can also help cars go faster and handle better at high speeds.

2. Improved visibility: Curved windshields offer a wider field of view for drivers, which can improve visibility and make it easier to see the road ahead. Curved windshield wipers accompanied curved windshields for clearer visibility. Both are particularly important when driving on curvy roads or in heavy traffic.

3. Enhanced design: curved windshields can add to the overall aesthetic appeal of a car, making it look sleeker and more modern. This can be especially important for luxury or high-end vehicles, where the look and feel of the car is an important selling point.

4. Reduced wind noise: Because curved windshields are more aerodynamic than flat windshields, they can help reduce wind noise inside the car. This can make the driving experience more comfortable and less fatiguing, particularly on long trips.

5. Safety: In the event of an accident, curved windshields are less likely to shatter than flat windshields, which can reduce the risk of injury from flying glass shards. The curved shape also helps distribute impact forces more evenly across the glass, which can help prevent the windshield from cracking or breaking.

Safety Glass

In the 1950s, safety glass windshields became mandatory for all new cars sold in the United States, and tempered glass windshields were introduced shortly thereafter. These windshields were made by heating and rapidly cooling the glass, making it more resistant to shattering on impact.

Safety glass is designed to minimize the risk of injury to car passengers in case of an impact. There are two main types of safety glass: laminated glass and tempered glass. Are you curious to know what is laminate and tempered glass?

Laminated glass consists of two or more layers of glass with a layer of plastic, sandwiched in between. When impacted, the plastic layer holds the shattered glass in place. Thus, no flying glass shards towards people.

A great article on auto glass:

Tempered glass, also known as toughened glass, is made by heating, and then rapidly cooling the glass. This process creates a glass that is four to five times stronger than regular glass, making it more resistant to impacts and shattering. When tempered glass does break, it shatters into small, round pieces rather than sharp shards, further reducing the risk of injury to occupants.

Both laminated and tempered glass contribute to the overall structural integrity of the vehicle, helping to prevent roof collapse in the event of a rollover accident, but also contribute in reducing the waste and expenses of having a complete windshield replacement as opposed to a more sustainable windshield chip repair or windshield crack repair.

A bonus interesting fact:

Augmented Reality Windshields?  WHATTT?

Augmented Reality is best explained as adding information, video, or graphics to a real-world object that are not actually there. It is akin to an optical illusion somewhat.

As you look through your windshield your speed, the outside temperature, even a video appears. While it looks like it is a part of your windshield, it is really an illusion using a special windshield.

More technically:

Augmented reality windshields overlay digital information onto the driver’s view of the road, providing real-time information about the environment, navigation, and vehicle performance.

It looks like an actual display; however, augmented reality windshields project the information directly onto the windshield itself, allowing the driver to see it without taking their eyes off the road.

One potential benefit of augmented reality windshields is to reduce driver distraction by providing information in a safer way. By reducing the need for the driver to look away from the road to check a navigation system augmented reality windshields help increase safety.

While augmented reality windshields are still in the early stages of development, some car manufacturers are actively working on this advancement.

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With so much information surrounding windshields, you’re bound to be left with questions. Don’t let confusion and uncertainty get the best of you. Find our professional answers to your most pressing questions in our FAQ below.


Windshield Repair Insights: Your Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. How to repair a cracked windshield?

A. At NOVUS Glass, we offer a unique patented system that can repair a cracked windshield, even with cracks up to 12 inches in length.

Q. How long does it take to replace a windshield?

A. On average, NOVUS Glass can replace a windshield in about 1 to 2 hours. The precise time may vary depending on the vehicle’s make and model and the complexity of the installation.

Q. Can a repaired windshield be as strong as a new one?

A. Yes, when professionally repaired by NOVUS Glass, a repaired windshield can regain its strength and integrity. The repair process restores the windshield’s structural integrity, making it safe and reliable.

Q. When should I replace my windshield wipers?

A. It is recommended to replace your windshield wipers every 6 to 12 months, depending on their condition and usage.

Q. What should I do if my windshield has multiple chips or cracks?

A. If your windshield has multiple chips or cracks, it might not be suitable for repair. In such cases, NOVUS Glass recommends windshield replacement for optimal safety. Our expert technicians can assess the damage and advise you on the best course of action to ensure your safety on the road.

Windshield Repair Insights: Your Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
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