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The History of Automotive Glass

Last updated 6 years ago


The glass used for the windshields and windows of motor vehicles wasn’t always as sophisticated as it is now. Modern automotive glass can protect occupants from the glare of the sun and the impact of a collision, and is subject to government-mandated safety standards. Here is an in-depth look at the development of auto-glass and the technology which provides its structural integrity:

Early Windshields

At the turn of the 20th century, horse-drawn carriage drivers began installing plates of clear glass to protect them from high winds while traveling. These early windshields were simple but effective at making all-weather driving more comfortable. The drawback to this type of glass was its lack of durability, as even small pebbles could crack it with ease. Additionally, if the carriage was involved in an accident, then it was all too likely that the glass would shatter and cause injury.

Laminated Glass

Laminated glass was first discovered by Edouard Benedictus in 1903, thanks to a laboratory accident. After dropping a flask that had a thin layer of film coating its interior, Benedictus observed that the flask cracked, yet kept its shape. The laminate in the flask acted as a clear bonding agent that helped the glass maintain its structure, despite being broken. By 1939, the Ford Motor Company had implemented it in its vehicles.

Tempered Glass

Today, in addition to lamination, automotive glass is tempered to reduce dangerous splintering. Tempering glass is the process of heating and rapidly cooling panes to create tighter molecular bonds. This process both increases the strength of glass and allows it to break into small pieces with smoother edges when it does finally shatter.

If you need automotive glass repair in the Oakland area, come to the shop with the most experience: Glass on the Move. We’ve been serving the Bay Area for over three decades, and our expertise makes us the number-one choice for windshield and window repair. Call us at (510) 338-4791 or visit us online for more information. 


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