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The first car windscreens and windows were just plate (annealed) glass. Europe changed to laminated glass in the early 1920s followed by the US in late ‘20s.
The next development was toughened glass. The primary reason for the change was cost and it started with front windscreens in Europe then side and rear windows. Toughened glass wasn’t used in the US for side and rear glass until Chrysler introduced it in 1936. By 1961 practically all US manufacturers had adopted toughened glass for side and rear windows but the US stayed with laminated front windscreens.
Which is better, Toughened or Laminated Windscreens? for information on the laminated vs. toughened glass windscreen debate you can follow this link to an AAAM report: Laceration and Ejection Dangers of Automotive Glass
Most countries now require laminated front windscreens for modern cars. Most side and rear windows are still toughened safety glass but having said that Europe is going back to laminated glass for it’s superior acoustic and temperature barrier properties, theft resistance and to reduce passenger ejection.
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