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In the late 1920's, car manufacturers began including windshield wipers with most new models. Prior to that, wipers were more commonly sold as separate accessories. Electrically operated wipers were available, but most were operated manually with a lever from inside the car.

Granted, consumer cars in the 1920s didn't move as fast as modern day cars do, but one must appreciate the considerable skill it would have taken to drive a manual transmission vehicle in the rain with no power steering or anti-lock brakes, while operating the windshield wipers with a lever and defogging the interior with a jacket sleeve.

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