Actress and Inventor

Hailed as “the first movie star,” Florence Lawrence shot to fame quickly after a publicity stunt involving a streetcar accident. Appropriately, in 1914 the actress also invented the turn signal as an “auto signalling arm” that she never bothered to patent.

She is joined in her automobile inventions by Mary Anderson who eleven years earlier had filed a patent for the windshield wiper, an invention that didn’t begin making money until after the patent had expired.

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By Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons