"Intermittant Windshield Wiper Control System with Improved Motor Speed Control"
Robert W. Kearns, the inventor of intermittent windshield wipers, who won multimillion-dollar judgments against Ford and Chrysler, died on Feb. 9. "He was feisty, determined and he established the fact that he made a contribution to the auto industry that was unique," reportedly said Judge Avern Cohn of Federal District Court in Michigan, who presided over several of the pro se patent trials brought by the independent inventor.
Kearns felt so strongly that he had recouped only part what automakers had made from his inventions, that he left millions of dollars from Chrysler uncollected in a federal court account for years. "Everyone wants the David and Goliath story," said his surviving daughter Maureen Kearns. "The lesson, I guess, is to do the best you can do," she said. "He enjoyed his fight, but not the full breadth of life. The lesson was to make your life count."
Send your nomination of Robert Kearns to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron Ohio here. Add his story to those of the over 200 other men and women whose patented inventions, life-saving tools, labor-saving devices, and technological innovations have become the basis of the American economy and society.