Robert William Kearns

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Robert William Kearns was born in Gary, Indiana back in 1927.  He served in the U.S. Army in intelligence related groups and too, manufacturing, being assigned to the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA, during World War II.  He graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

He continued his education earning a master’s degree in engineering mechanics from Wayne State University and a doctorate from Case Institute of Technology.  Can you tell he is way beyond me?  What you may not know about Robert is that he also was an inventor.  He claimed his invention steamed from an incident on his wedding night in 1953, we won’t go there!!!  Yes, we will, it was an errant champagne cork that shot into his left eye, leaving him legally blind in that eye.  He tried to sell his invention to For, Chrysler, Porcha, Volkswagen, Ferrari, Volvo and Alfa Romeo just to name a few.  When they used his invention on their vehicles.  He won, and the rest is history.

What you may not know about Robert is that he invented the first intermittent windshield wiper for automobiles.

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Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi James Dray - somehow I can't make the connection between the cork and the windsheild wiper.

Jan 21, 2021 03:52 AM #1
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, James... now that is an invention almost all of us can relate to and be thankful for!

Jan 21, 2021 04:39 AM #2
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

That is certainly a great invention!  Not that we get any rain here but I don't have to do anything with my windshield wipers since they automatically come on when they sense moisture on the windshield.

Jan 21, 2021 05:02 AM #3
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Like Grant Schneider, not sure how the cork comes into play with his invention, but like it anyway. Enjoy your day. 

Jan 21, 2021 05:23 AM #4
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Jan 21, 2021 05:51 AM #5
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

A great invention, until there is the squeak squeak!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Jan 21, 2021 06:24 AM #6
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning James Dray well, I guess after the wedding night, things could only get better.

Jan 21, 2021 06:26 AM #7
faye schubert
Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

I remember when I paid extra for an intermittent windshield wiper.

Jan 21, 2021 06:54 AM #8
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Now there is an invention I use often James Dray . As far as the cork incedent, I have never shot myself with one BUT I've aimed a few at others 😬

Jan 21, 2021 07:17 AM #9
Kathy Akers, ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR
Fathom Realty NC LLC - Rocky Mount, NC
Your Trusted Real Estate Advisor

James Dray what a neat story. I use his invention quite often, in fact this morning during my errands it started to rain.

 I hope you have a wonderful day.

Jan 21, 2021 07:39 AM #10
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Good morning James.

I love those intermittent windshield wipers.  They are often used by used especially on drizzly day...A

Jan 21, 2021 08:33 AM #11
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

I know I use that setting all the time, but like Grant Schneider do not make the connection between the cork and the wiper. 

Jan 21, 2021 08:58 AM #12
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Very timely James because we noticed today that we will need to replace our windshield wipers. I do have to wonder how he got from the cork to a blind eye to the wiper unless it was so he could see with one eye when the wipers were on. 

Jan 21, 2021 09:59 AM #13
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

I believe a movie was made about his life. I think one of the manufactures tried to steal his idea.

Jan 21, 2021 10:19 AM #14
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Great story, James, although I don't see how a champagne cork in the eye leads to the intermittent windhield wiper invention but I'm no inventor...glad we have them.

Jan 21, 2021 10:22 AM #15
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

I love my intermittent windshield wiper:)  what an awesome invention... again it is all about people who see the same thing but get ideas that us mare mortals do not:)Endre

Jan 21, 2021 10:42 PM #16
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James Dray

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