This review describes early work on rubber wiper blades and subsequent investigations. Observations on model wipers pressed against glass showed that the dry contact width was greater than that predicted by the classical Hertz equation, due to adhesion. That led to the establishment of the JKR equation to account for the adhesion. Although originally intended for ‘soft’ contacts, the equation now finds wide use. Surprisingly, the boundary lubrication aspects of the work revealed the action of repulsive forces that could be directly measured between rubber and glass in the presence of water. The quality of lubrication is subject to the acidity/alkalinity of the water.