The History Of Auto Glass Repair

historic car depicting auto glass history

The history of auto glass repair is filled with almost as many layers like the layers of glass that make up windshields. In fact, auto glass repair history is, in many ways, inextricably linked to laminated glass technology. It is this technology that allowed windshields to stay in place, to begin with. Importantly, laminated safety glass is also the technology that allows auto glass repairs to be done the way they are done today. It is done by removing the air at the damaged area and replaces it with the same resin adhesive.

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Auto Safety Glass History

In this article, we will discuss a brief history of auto glass repair.

Before The 1970s: A Period Of Faux Auto Glass Repairs

Prior to the 1970s, windshield repairs were purely cosmetic. Needless to say, repairs at this time were temporary and insufficient. This is because instead of truly repairing the damaged auto glass as is done today, an oil-based fluid was merely poured into the damaged area to create the illusion of a fix. This oil-based fluid would fill and hide the damage for a short period of time.

The Early 1970s & Beyond: The Time Of Breakthroughs And True Auto Glass Repairs

old car windshield

The process of true auto glass repairs did not start until the early 1970s. It wasn’t until 1971 that real progress was made, thanks to the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M) Company. The company based in St. Paul Minnesota created a fairly feasible solution/ They had success repairing “bullseye” type damages by using a syringe to inject an adhesive or resin into the damaged area of the auto glass. They did this by using ultrasound vibrations to clean it. The 3M invented system, known as the “scotch weld” system, had to be abandoned when the company failed to make the sales volume necessary to pay for the expensive equipment. If it is any consolation, the 3M company did successfully introduce the concept of true auto glass windshield repair to insurance companies.

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1972 Onwards: Building On The 3M Company’s Success

Following on the heels of the 3M company’s relative success, a research company, founded by Dr. Franks Warner called Origin Inc., went on to develop a process for repairing stone damaged windshields. Unsurprisingly, Dr. Warner’s journey started when his own windshield was damaged by stones. He opted to direct the process of repairing the damage rather than replacing the entire windshield auto glass. He created this with the help of Bill Wiele, a chemical engineer specializing in developing clear adhesive resin that would optically match windshields. From there, Dr. Warner would later license his invention to former associate Gerry Keinath.

At that time, Mr. Keinath was the founder of Novus Inc., a company responsible for bringing innovative products to market. Keinath’s early work through Novus Inc. would lead to the dawn of auto glass “repair only” specialists in the mid-1970s into the mid-1980s. Keinath’s work would also lead to the development of other windshield auto glass repair techniques, such as:

  • The “vacuum” repair system by the Mort Gallub founded Glass Medic.
  • The “harmonizer” system by Harman Glass in Minneapolis who produced and sold their equipment in partnership with Auto Glass Specialists.

The development of auto glass repairs continued well into the 1990s. This is when more techniques, franchises, and increasingly more “repair only” options became available. The evolution of auto glass repairs is continuing today as engineers and researchers continue to develop more innovative ways of carrying out research using newer, more efficient, and technologically advanced machinery. There are now many auto glass repair companies. The challenge is to find an auto glass shop that is reputable, experienced, and trustworthy.

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Auto Glass Repair Alburtis PA


Liberty AutoGlassoffers auto glass repair using the highest quality materials and the most advanced auto glass technology to repair your auto glass correctly and quickly. We offer mobile services so we can repair your damaged auto glass at the convenience of your home or office. This means that we come to wherever your vehicle is parked and you can go about your day as you would normally. We fix windshields, back glass, door glass, vent glass, and quarter glass.

We service Alburtis PA 18011, Breinigsville PA 18031, East Texas PA 18046, Hereford PA 18056, Macungie PA 18062, Mertztown PA 19539, Old Zionsville PA 18068, Trexlertown PA 18087, and surrounding areas.

Contact us today or give us a call at (610) 377-7787 or (877) 90-GLASS if you have any questions. Click here to view our complete mobile auto glass service area in Pennsylvania.

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