Charlotte Bridgwood was a performer and inventor. She patented the first electrically powered windshield wiper in 1917, improving previous manually-operated wipers patented by Mary Anderson in 1905.
In 1917, Charlotte received a patent for the first automatic windshield cleaner.
Charlotte is the mother of Florence Lawrence.
Florence Lawrence is known as “the first movie star.” She appeared in almost 300 films throughout her career. Besides her film career, Lawrence is credited with designing the first “auto signaling arm,” which we have come to know as the turn signal and the first mechanical brake signal. However, she didn’t get a patent for these inventions and received no credit nor profit from either one.
Three great takeaways from knowing this…
- Women have been in automotive since the dawn of the industry.
We didn’t just get here & we don’t have anything to prove. We deserve & have a seat at the table.
- Women in automotive are practical visionaries.
We should use these women as inspiration. Then, use the massive shift that’s currently taking place in automotive to take our seats at the table. I’ll also point out here, at the head of this table sits a woman, Mary Barra.
- Women in automotive shouldn’t stop at inventiveness.
Take ownership of your ideas. Don’t let someone else take credit for them. Period.
Is there a woman (in automotive or otherwise) who you’d like to see featured this month for National Women’s History Month? Please reach out & let me know.
All my best