If you love cars, you may have wondered at some point how auto glass was incorporated into making them. While it’s an interesting topic, it can be hard to find the resources available that have information on this topic. That’s why we’ll provide a brief history of auto glass in this article to help you learn more.
When cars were first created over a century ago, they were designed without windshields. The reason why is that vehicles didn’t go fast enough to justify the need for a windshield. About ten years after the first car was introduced, windshields started being incorporated into automobiles.
The first windshields were just a piece of glass made of the same materials as house windows. They were composed of two panes of glass, with top and lower sections. Windshields were designed so that the top half could fold down if desired.
The first windshields introduced in cars were unsafe and easily shattered. As technology improved, laminated and tempered glass were used in vehicles. Laminated glass, which was generally used for the front windshield and rear glass, was incorporated throughout the entire vehicle. This started with higher-end luxury vehicles and then more mainstream.
Laminated glass was first used in 1934, with tempered glass appearing 15 years later. Laminated glass became a car staple because it was designed to bend under pressure and not shatter as easily. Tempered glass is also similar to laminate but is more robust and shatters differently.
While wraparound glass is not typically found in vehicles anymore, it was extremely popular until the 1950s. The idea behind the wraparound glass was that it could reduce blind spots for drivers, increasing overall safety. It was basically one giant piece of glass that comprised the windshield and wrapped around to the driver’s side and passenger doors.
The government began setting regulations for cars in 1966. The Highway Safety Act was the first legislation introduced by the government that set the safety standard for cars. This federal act made shatter-resistant windshields mandatory.
While they’ve been around since the 1940s, powered windows were seen as another revolutionary commodity that took the automobile world by storm. They were initially considered a luxury and weren’t installed on all vehicles. But the idea was slowly rolled out by automakers who added power windows to more and more vehicles. By the end of the 1970s, powered windows were the standard.
Auto glass has come a long way since it was first introduced in vehicles in 1904. In fact, windshields have become a focus of inventors and entrepreneurs, who are constantly working to improve driver safety.
Besides new window and glass technologies, efforts are being made to produce smart windshields and thermally flexible glass. These new technologies will help revolutionize auto glass, but the technology won’t stop there. There will continue to be advancements and improvements made by individuals and companies to help improve driver safety further.
A cracked or chipped windshield should never be taken lightly. Both types of damage can quickly become worse and more costly. And, should a car accident occur when you have a cracked windshield, the glass may shatter altogether.
For a free quote on your windshield repair or replacement, fill out our contact form or give us a call today at 888-411-4527.