SS Windshield Wiper Blades

Here is what came on my '38 SS.

The arms have a slot in the end that accepts that loop on the blade, and one of them had that triangular rubber plug through it to hold it on.
The shorter one is 9" long and made of stainless steel, marked MADE IN ENGLAND, nothing else.
The longer one is 10" long and made of brass, painted black, marked MADE IN ENGLAND and PATS 523177, 523486, 544841, 615500, OTHERS PENDING.
Could it be original?

Above for comparison is a 10" one from my XK120, which has a different clip mechanism.

Hi Rob,

I don’t know which blade length is correct but you can probably scale it from this pre-war factory photo. I think I make the blade length 8.75".
As it happens that is the length that I have on my car although that means nothing re. originality.

As to the arms, I think you can see a different type in the above photo and there is also a clear photo on page 95 of Skilleter’s book. Sorry about the poor copy.

The rubber peg fixing is correct although I’m not familiar with the triangular part.
I have no idea where you could find the original type of arm. I think the MkIVs used the type of arm in the photo below…

This might be the original type…


Thanks, Peter. Mark IV did indeed use a different arm, but the same 727707 “Squeegee Assembly”. I’ve always wanted to type that word. I think I’ll do it again. Squeegee.
Trying them with these arms I have, you are right that the 10" is too long. 9" seems about right.

That last photo is interesting. It is the same style of hub that is on my pre war MG. These seem to be extremely rare anywhere these days. I think they have nearly all been replaced by the two other types. They had one flaw that caused them to wear excessively and be floppy. The locking pin is a stub that slips over the shaft, then a short set screw tightens from the other side. The problem is that the oscillating sideways force causes the pin shank to wear grooves fairly quickly as it only bears on the edges of the hole in the arm. I have successfully restored the original arms by carefully building up the grooves, and thickening the arms with a brass washer on each side on the inside, which gives more than twice the width of bearing area. They won’t wear out in my lifetime.

Here is the shaft end. There are flats on both sides, somewhat beat up. I suppose they were wrecked by the set screws on the original arms as mentioned by Peter Lloyd.

I see in the photo from Peter Scott that there is a plastic or rubber pin at the blade hinge, where mine has the triangular rubber pin.
The arms I have clamp on the smaller round part just below the flats.

The patents I quoted above date from 1938 to 1949 so that answers the question, they are not original.
Three are Trico patents about the attachments, and one by a private citizen is about the oil and petrol resistant Buna or Neoprene synthetic rubber in the squeegees.

I think the blades were sold generically, and you could cut the excess off at each end to suit
The shafts were plain [ 1/4" brass from memory] and the metal blade locked on by a nut threaded against a taper
The rubber triangles are correct to retain the blade as they allow the bladed to turn on the return stroke New ones are available from Paul Beck Vintage Supplies
Looking at my 2cars I realise there is a difference. One has the nut on the outside and the other has the nut pushing against the taper from behind.
It wasn’t something thought about a lot as the wipers on the100 haven’t been used in about 40 years
I think the wipers in Rob’s drawings are postwar

Thanks Ed. Paul Beck does indeed have the blades #370 (9" & 10" and can be cut), rubber peg with flap #372A or without #372, and hex head arm #477 (various options). My shafts are 3/16".
I should have included the dates of those patent drawings.
The first one, 523177, was initiated Jan 4 1938.
544841 was initiated July 27, 1940.
615500 was initiated July 30, 1946.
As Trico is an American based company, all these patents were initially filed in the US and later in the UK. I wonder if US cars of the period use these same wipers, can’t say I ever noticed.

I think the ones with the nut on top are the early ones. The change moving the nut to the bottom is more about aesthetics to present cleaner lines and to make cleaning easier. I have restored the top nuts successfully (they are often rounded and burred at the corners) and I think they look more the part for the early cars. In reality, of course, who really cares…or notices the difference except pedants like some of us.

One variation of these arms exists on one of my cars wherein the arms have a slight sideways crank so that the blades sit exactly in alignment with the edge of the windscreen frame in the parked position. They are therefore handed, left and right, and they do look good when parked, better than the straight alignment which keeps the outer tip of the blade up a bit.

And here is

Mr TRico his-self with his SS100

Fun to say… like, “onomatopoeia!”

But he’s not using his wipers, just enjoying his money. :grinning:
Who is that really, one of the son-and-heirs?

BTW just for kicks I tried to get what I could of the rubbers out of mine, which were mostly crispy to well done crumbly, wonder when the last time this car had new wipers, and got one bit about 2" long. It was the layered type like this.

Like the Kardashians, I haven’t followed the Triconian family tree

But apparently he was the big cheese at Trico, There are other pics f him with some old American vintage cars, a mansion a trophy bride in a ffur and sadly polished alloy Ace wheel discs on the SS.