Robert Kearns – Flash of genius

As a flash of genius he remembered his wedding incident and decided to make an intermittent wiper which would wipe in sync with each other with variable speed.

On the eve of his wedding night this gentleman tried to open a bottle of champagne and the cork accidentally hit his right eye which almost made him blind . At that instant he marveled at the way his both eyelids close in sync.  Then later while going in his car with his family he was finding it difficult to drive as it was raining heavily and the wind shields weren’t dispensing the rain droplets properly from the front glass. As a flash of genius he remembered his wedding  incident and decided to make an intermittent wiper which would wipe in sync with each other with variable speed.

He went to his garage in Detroit a used an inductor, capacitor and a variable resistor to make his first prototype.  Now dreaming of manufacturing his invention he gave a demo to Ford. They were impressed with his idea and worked with his for 6 years before dumping his without any contract. Later his idea was introduced in the new models.He was shocked to find this out and thus he embarked upon an epic court battle with a Billion dollar company called Ford for infringing his patents.

This gentleman was Robert Kearns. He was an inventor from the age of 14. He left his teaching profession at Wayne State University in Detroit, had a failed marriage, a nervous breakdown and social isolation in order to pursue this case against Ford and other Auto Giants. In his final years, he drove around in two aging vehicles: a 1978 Ford pickup and a 1965 Chrysler. Neither had intermittent wipers !!

He was a perfect example for how a flash of genius could revolutionize the auto industry. He was the hope for all amateur inventors whose inventions were taken away by big companies. He truly portrayed a fighting human spirit, one which would  not rest until its goals were accomplished irrespective of the hurdles faced.


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