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Mary Anderson, Inventor of the Windshield Wiper



Mary Anderson, Inventor of the Windshield Wiper
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.03

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    motorman, removable, tiresome, wiper, horse-drawn, patent, streetcar, original, blustery, sketch, century, power, automatic, public, aboard, provided
     content words:    Mary Anderson, New York City, Charlotte Bridgewood


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Mary Anderson, Inventor of the Windshield Wiper
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     At the turn of the century, most people didn't drive cars. In the country, people still traveled in horse-drawn vehicles. In the city, public transportation was available in the form of the streetcar.
 
2     When people traveled into the city, they looked forward to a ride on a streetcar. It was the latest in transportation, and all the passengers had to do was enjoy the ride.
 
3     In the winter of 1903, Mary Anderson took a trip from her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, to New York City. While she was there, she took a ride on the streetcar. Once she was aboard the streetcar, she was probably glad to be out of the blustery, cold weather. However, she noticed that the motorman who drove the streetcar was not so lucky. Every time the window of the streetcar became covered with snow or ice, he had to go out in the cold to clean it off. Otherwise, he could not see where he was going. In dry weather, he might have had to stop to clean dust off of the windows, and in the rain, he might have needed to keep the windows open just to see where the streetcar was going. Travel by streetcar must have been an adventure for the motormen, but it was also surely cold and tiresome. It must have been dangerous, too, not being able to see clearly what was up ahead.

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