You count on it for comfort. You depend on its protection. You look at it every day, sometimes for hours at a time. How often, though, do you think about your windshield? If you’re like most people, probably not that often. How much do you know about this innovation that we take for granted? Read on to discover the fascinating history of the evolution of the windshield.
In the early days of the automobile (then called the horseless carriage), driving goggles were a part of standard driving attire. While the goggles were undoubtedly fashionable, drivers thought it necessary to have protection from flying bugs, rocks, and the elements as they drove. In the early 1900’s that necessity gave birth to the first windshield. Early windshields weren’t made from glass at all, but from pieces of canvas with viewing holes made from thin sheets of mica called isinglass curtains. These “curtains” could be taken down and stored when the weather was favorable. This technology had been used for window coverings for centuries before the advent of glass. While it was extremely light and got the job done, mica wasn’t particularly durable or clear to see through