Menu

INTRODUCTION
QUICK QUOTE FORM
LOCATIONS

LINKS OF INTEREST

 



History of the Windhield

In The Beginning

     

      Windshields? What was a windshield? When a French Army officer named Captain Nicolas Joseph Cugnot built what is now remotely considered the first automobile in 1769, he certainly had no use for a windshield. This three-wheeled, steam-powered vehicle was designed to move artillery pieces and even though it could carry four persons the use for a windshield had yet to become important.


       In the very early 1800's the steam powered automobiles gained recognition, but not popularity, thus the windshield was again a foregone future necessity. It wasn't until 1896 that the first American gas-powered automobile was introduced by the Duryea Brothers in Springfield, Massachusetts. Although history now marked the modern era for vehicles, a windshield was not included. In fact, wearing goggles was the only protection offered from inclement weather, insects and other road debris.


       The first windshields were hand cut from plate glass, which would shatter into sharp pieces when broken. During the mid 1920's, thanks to the ingenuity and safety consciousness of Henry Ford, laminated or safety glass was finally introduced.


       The laminated glass consists of two layers of glass which have been molded around a layer of polyvinyl butyrate, or lamination. This method allows the glass to adhere to the lamination when damaged rather than showering the vehicle's passengers with sharp, jagged pieces of glass, thus the name safety glass.


       Tempered glass, which makes up the rest of the vehicle's glass content is also considered safety glass. Tempered glass receives its strength through a combined application of heat and pressure which allows the glass to crumble into small round pebble-like pieces upon impact.


      A big difference between laminated glass and tempered glass is that laminated glass can, under certain conditions, be repaired, tempered glass cannot.

      Over the years windshields have evolved into more complex, engineered glass systems. In today's windshield one may find an array of electronic devices and sensors included within the windshield of their vehicle. Everything from heating elements to melt ice, to ultra-violate repellants to coatings shade bands, antennas, satellite uplinks, heads-up holographic instrument displays, or even sensors to activate windshield wipers or close convertible tops are now commonplace within the windshield. Today's windshield is also thinner and lighter thus reducing the overall weight of the vehicle (some suggest this is an added incentive towards better fuel economy). Within these new designer enhancements one thing is greatly noted, today's windshields are more costly to produce and in short, more costly to replace. It is therefore advisable to the vehicle owner to add comprehensive coverage to your vehicle's insurance policy and dependant on the state you live in, a glass coverage option is generally available for a small annual fee.

 

  
5000 MABELINE RD. 
HANAHAN, SC
29406-5310

PHONE:
843-764-2810
FAX:
843-824-0681
TOLL FREE:
888-300-4538  
http://www.alphabest.net

 

Alpha Best Auto Glass

                   

These Pages Copyrightę 2000
ALPHA BEST AUTO GLASS INC.
Please direct all inquiries to: 
Inquiries Alpha Best;
November 7, 2000
Last Updated: FEBRUARY 4, 2001