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3-Technology in the 1900’s

  February 11th, 2010

We all know the name, Thomas Edison. He was a very well known inventor in the 1900’s. He is the man that invented the light bulb and the Phonograph. Both of which have changed our world dramatically. I wonder why it is that Thomas Edison was taken so seriously when he proposed the idea of the Phonograph, but when Mary Anderson proposed her idea of the windshield wiper she was made fun of. Was it because of the idea itself or did it have anything to do with their gender. These are questions that come up regularly, even to this day.¬† Women were not looked at as being smart or “able” to come up with ideas like this. That is why Mary Anderson had to fight for what she thought was an important invention. During the early 1900’s it was very rare for women to invent something and to actually get a patent for it. Mary Anderson did recieve a patent for the windshield wiper in 1905, however it was not created for quite sometime. Down the road it did end up being created, but at first people thought it was pointless and it was not taken seriously. In the early 1900’s men were mainly the ones who got their ideas known and approved. A study by J.E. Bedi shows that in the year 1910 women received an average¬† of 8596 patents approved and men received an average of 11,918 patents approved.

Mary Anderson's orginial design

Mary Anderson's orginial design

I am going to take you on a journey.

First lets go through an average car ride in 1903.

It is a father driving the car with the mother in the passenger seat. There is a young boy and girl in the backseat (without seat belts on). The mother and father are both smoking cigarettes as the boy and girl tell about their day. They have the radio on the one station that the town had available. This station was opera. The kids loved opera and knew many of the songs. This specific car had no windshield let alone no windshield wipers. The father has to wear goggles so he can keep the bugs out of his eyes. They are only going about 20 miles an hour and are on their way to the only grocery store in town.

Now lets skip ahead 107 years.

There is a mother and father again. This time the mother is driving the mini van while their two children are in the backseat watching Hannah Montana on their DVD player. In the front the parents are listening to their Ipod which is plugged into the car so you can hear it through the speakers. It is pouring out, since they do live in Oregon. The windshield wipers are going at full speed (Yes, there are different speeds for the wipers now). They are driving on the freeway going about 60 miles an hour on their way to a movie in 3D.

I wonder what 100 years from now will look like. We can only imagine but never will know.

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