It is interesting to note that the laminated safety glass was invented by “accident”. Frenchman, Édouard Bénédictus, discovered the process initially when he broke a flask in his shop, but was stunned when it didn't shatter. He ultimately realized the flask had contained plastic cellulose nitrate at one time which worked as a “glue” keeping the shattered glass together. While this happy “accident' occurred in 1903, he didn't obtain a patent for his laminated glass until 1909, and it wasn't until almost 20 years later, in 1927, that laminated safety glass began being used in automobile windshields.
Today's tempered glass, of course, is much improved since then. In fact, many of us don't give it much thought until we need a rock chip repair or windshield replacement. Here are four other auto safety features you probably also take for granted.
Seat Belts – It wasn't until 1968 that seats lap belts became mandatory in automobiles. They were quickly followed by the 3-point harnesses we now take for granted. In 1984, New York became the first state to make their use by drivers compulsory.
Brake Lights – Brake lights provide an indication the car in front of you is slowing. This wasn't always the way. Initially, drivers let the vehicle behind them know they intended to slow or stop through hand signals out the driver's side window. By the late 1920's, brake lights were introduced, but these were manually lit by the driver and not by the braking action itself. Eventually, the lights were activated by foot pressure on the brake. The third brake light, in the center of the rear area of cars was first introduced in 1974 and is credited with significantly reducing rear end crashes.
Back-up Lights – Today, we immediately understand that if white lights appear between the red rear lights of the automobile in front of us it is an indication the driver has his car in reverse. The first device to do so was invented by Wills Sainte Claire in 1921, when he connected a white bulb to his transmission which would illuminate when it was in reverse. As amazingly useful as this indicator is and as much as we take it for granted today, this safety device wasn't mandatory in the U.S. Until the 1960's.
Seeing What is Behind You – Today, we take our rear view video cameras for granted. Before rear view mirrors were invented, drivers relied on passengers to tell them what was going on behind them. Rear view mirrors came into play in 1911 at the Indianapolis 500. Rear view mirrors were pretty much “state of the art” for the next 90 years until rear view video cams started taking hold in the 2000's.
At Only 1 Auto Glass, we never take safety for granted. It is why our St. Paul, MN auto glass repair business uses only proven techniques, quality materials, and experienced glass installers to take care of your auto glass repair. Don't take chances with auto glass replacement in the Twin Cities. Contact Only 1 Auto Glass today!
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