Women Pave the Way in Automotive History

March is Women’s History Month, and at Adventure Subaru in Fayetteville, Arkansas, we have a lot of women to thank for getting us where we are today! Women’s History Month started as Women’s History Week in March 1982, but let’s be real — women deserve an entire month to celebrate what we have achieved in history. From creating the first turn signal to developing the windshield wiper and so much more, let’s see how women have paved the way in the automotive industry.




Let’s start with Mary Anderson, who created the windshield wiper. In the winter of 1902, she imagined a windshield wiper that could be operated by hand. The device consisted of a lever inside the vehicle which controlled the rubber blade on the exterior of the windshield. Many people had tried before, but Mary’s was the first one to be effective. Get it, girl!





Our next girl boss is Helene Rother, known as the “Godmother of Automotive Design.” Born in Paris, Rother designed fine jewelry and other extravagances. However once war broke out and the Nazis occupied France, Rother and her daughter Ina fled the country for the United States. Starting her career at Marvel Comics, she later became employed by General Motors, where she made headway designing upholstery colors and fabrics, lighting and door hardware and even constructing seats. She became extremely successful and was well-known as the first female automotive designer.




Drum roll for our next star... Florence Lawrence! If that name sounds like a movie star, that's because she was one! But she also designed the world's first “auto signaling arm,” which was a mechanical turn signal, along with the first mechanical brake signal. Unfortunately, Florence did not patent these inventions, so she never received credit or profit from them.



Obviously these are not all the women who have paved the way in the automotive history but we can tell women are a force to be reckoned with!

Categories: People, News
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