Monday, November 13, 2017

Windshield Wiper

Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 314: I am grateful for Mary Anderson and the windshield wiper. 

Back in November of 1903, a native Alabama woman applied for the patent on the first windshield wiper for an automobile that could be operated from inside the car. Her name was Mary Anderson. 

Mary Anderson (1866-1953) was visiting New York City in 1902. While riding in a streetcar, her trip suffered many delays because the driver would have to stop to clear the windshield. She thought, "We could save time if there was a way to clear the window from the inside." In November 1903, she applied for that patent that was granted but lasted for only 17 years. 

She was an independent woman. She had no husband, not father or a son to speak for her in a business world that was male dominated. She submitted her idea to a car manufacturer that turned her down not seeing any real commercial value. People laughed at her saying the movement of the wipers would distract the driver. 

Most of us have needed to replace wiper blades on a bad weather day. Not being able to see clearly is far more distracting. 

Cadillac became the first car manufacturer to adopt the windshield wiper as standard equipment, 19 years later in 1922. With the expiration of her patent, she received no money for her invention. Still, it was clearly her imagination and efforts that is still making our rainy and snowy days. 

In 2011, she was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame. 

She lived until 1953, seeing many changes from her post Civil War birth to the early 1950's.She was a rancher, vineyard owner and real estate developer in a business climate that was not woman friendly. She must have been something!  When she died at age 87, she was the oldest member of her church. 

Mary faced "nos" and obstacles. Yes, she was treated differently because she was a woman. Still, she pressed on. She was a builder and a creative. She appears to have lived a life true to who God created her to be... not fretting or fussing about life being "unfair". I have a feeling that keeping up with her would have been a challenge. 

One of my favorite verses comes to mind. 

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. -Philippians 3:13-14

Press on! This is such a great mantra to wrap ourselves in and around. Remember where the real prize resides. 

I offered up this post with a prayer for God to give another verse, if there was one to fit the day. I think he wins again. My choice is good, but this was my "verse of the day": 

It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 1 Peter 2:15-16 

Life on this planet is not always going to "be fair". How we respond to unfair treatment will honor God or it won't. To live honorably in the face of injustice... that is real freedom. To not let the chains of bitterness and disillusionment weigh us down. "Two wrongs do not make a right." 

Get up. Press on. Let go. Move on. 

I am grateful for Mary Anderson and the windshield wiper. 

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