is an American company that specializes in windshield wiper
A windscreen wiper or windshield wiper is a device used to remove rain and debris from a windscreen or windshield. Almost all motor vehicles, including trains, aircraft and watercraft, are equipped with such wipers, which are usually a legal requirement.A wiper generally consists of an arm,...
s. Trico, then Tri-Continental Corporation, invented the windshield wiper blade in 1917. Its original Trico Plant No. 1
Trico Plant No. 1 is a historic windshield wiper factory located at Buffalo in Erie County, New York. It is an early and significant example of the "Daylight Factory." The building is constructed of reinforced concrete and features curtain walls of metal sash windows and brick spandrels. It was...
is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...
When a bicyclist and a National Roadster collided on a Buffalo, New York, street one rainy night in 1917, it was an impact felt around the world. Although the cyclist was not seriously injured, the accident was enough to profoundly shake the driver of the car, Buffalo theatre owner J.R. Oishei. Vowing that such an accident should never happen again, Oishei was determined to improve the ability of drivers to see during bad weather. He said that hitting the bicyclist was "a harrowing experience which imprinted on my mind the definite need for maintaining vision while driving in the rain."
The company Oishei formed, the Tri-Continental Corporation, introduced the first windshield wiper, Rain Rubber, for the slotted, two-piece windshields found on many of the automobiles of the time.
Well known for their vacuum-powered wiper systems, Trico
was involved in a patent dispute with William M. Folberth who, with his brother Fred, invented a vacuum-powered wiper motor in 1919. The patent was granted in 1922, and Trico later purchased the Folberth company to settle the dispute.
As Trico Folberth Ltd
, in 1928 Trico opened a UK plant on the Great West Road
The Great West Road may refer to:*A4 road from London to Bath and Bristol, England*The Golden Mile in West London, part of the above*Great West Road, Zambia...
Brentford is a suburban town in west London, England, and part of the London Borough of Hounslow. It is located at the confluence of the River Thames and the River Brent, west-southwest of Charing Cross. Its former ceremonial county was Middlesex.-Toponymy:...
, Middlesex, that was situated on the so-called Golden Mile
The Golden Mile is the name given to a stretch of the Great West Road north of Brentford running west from the western boundary of Chiswick in London, United Kingdom.It was so called due to the concentration of industry along this short stretch of road...
. The site closed in the late 1990s and the company relocated its UK operations to Pontypool
Pontypool is a town of approximately 36,000 people in the county borough of Torfaen, within the historic boundaries of Monmouthshire in South Wales....
, South Wales
South Wales is an area of Wales bordered by England and the Bristol Channel to the east and south, and Mid Wales and West Wales to the north and west. The most densely populated region in the south-west of the United Kingdom, it is home to around 2.1 million people and includes the capital city of...
Vacuum wiper motors produced by Trico carry an earliest patent number that dates back to 1928.
also produced an air-pressure powered system for heavy-duty trucks and large military vehicles, as well as marine applications such as Chris-Craft and others where diesel engines were used. The air-pressure system uses a Trico-Folberth
wiper motor that has patent dates cast into it that go as far back as 1922. Later versions of these motors carry patent numbers that show an earliest patent date of around 1936.
Trico moved their head office from Buffalo to Rochester Hills in 1998.
In 2002, Trico closed its "Plant #1" in Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...
. This ended a nearly 20 year process of shifting its production to Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...
. The building is currently being redeveloped as part of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is a consortium of the region’s premier health care, life sciences research, and medical education institutions, all co-located on in downtown Buffalo, New York. The BNMC is dedicated to the cultivation of a world-class medical campus for clinical care,...
Today Trico Products
is one of the world's leading manufacturers of windshield wiping systems, windshield wiper blades and refills, with wiper plants on five continents.