Journal: A Graphic History of Child "Safety" Seats

A Graphic History of Child “Safety” Seats

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
January 15, 2014
13 comments

Given that three-point seat belts weren’t available in a car until 1959, it shouldn’t be too surprising that child safety wasn’t given serious thought until more recently either. It seems that child seats were initially devised as a way to allow small children to look out the windows (more like booster seats) and then as a method of keeping them immobilized so they couldn’t leap from seat to seat, creating a distraction.

It wasn’t until 1962 that two men simultaneously designed child safety seats (seemingly unbeknownst to each other) featuring different concepts. One, designed by Briton Jean Ames, was a rearward facing seat that featured a Y-strap, similar to today’s models. The second, designed by American Len Rivkin, buckled the child into a seat surrounded by a metal frame. Auto manufacturers and aftermarket seat companies soon followed suit, developing their own seats.

Check out some early examples below, they range from children’s automotive lawn furniture to dangerous, steel baby-prison.

Image Sources: bellissimakids.com, topclassiccars-of-alltime.blogspot.com, vintagechildabuse.blogspot.com, automechanicschools.net, jilmcintosh.typepad.com, volvocar.com, babble.com, retrolifestyle.com, boingboing.net, knittingiris.typepad.com, grayflannelsuit.net, jalopyjournal.com, teambuick.com

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Mike in São PauloRay HoughtonpattollieMom of 5Car seat Recent comment authors
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Ray Houghton
Ray Houghton

I’m almost 60 now, never wore seat belts growing up. I remember standing on the seat while being driven around. Wasn’t till I reached my mid 20s that I started wearing safety belts. I guess I’m lucky to have survived.

pattollie
pattollie

Not that I would ever want to go back to those days – but @ least the cars didn’t go so fast back in the day! I do remember some of these things though in all honesty, even though I never did use any of them.

Joanna

I don’t believe it! 😀 Crazy!

Bill Flinchbaugh
Bill Flinchbaugh

As an industry, we had to start somewhere and since none of these products were subject to crash testing or safety performance requirements, for their time, there worked well. As a child, I rode on some of them. Defensive driving and not being in the car as much as kids born today, along with some luck, is what helped us survive. The idea that a child riding in a car seat of one of these designs or standing in the car would prompt an immediate ticket or arrest is not correct as most law enforcement officers are not trained in… Read more »

Chelsea N Riegel
Chelsea N Riegel

What is your website? I am very into car seat safety and proper use…ERF, extended harnessing…I would love to visit your site!

Car seat
Car seat

Visit Car Seats for the Littles Facebook page for a wealth of information. They are all certified, up to date techs that give you car seat recommendations based on your child’s height, weight, and car make/model. Invaluable!

Mom of 5

Check out [url=”http://thecarcrashdetective.cf”]The Car Crash Detective[/url] for information on extended rear facing; I learned from there that it’s actually a lot safer to rear face for a long period of time than to forward face, and that there are actually seats that allow children to remain rear facing for up to 50 lbs!

Mike in São Paulo
Mike in São Paulo

Most law enforcement aren’t really trained in any laws.

Jim Bair
Jim Bair

It is a wonder any of us survived. My preferred car riding position when growing up was in the back, standing up, straddling the “hump” on the floor, with both hands on the back of my parent’s front seat so I could see straight ahead.

Today, parents would be pulled over and immediately carted off to jail for allowing that.

Zak
Zak

The outside the door one is my favorite. The epitome of common sense.

cheryl
cheryl

The outside the car one was only put there after they stopped. It was normally attached over the back of the vehicle seat.

Zak
Zak

Oh. My. God.

mattdogg02
mattdogg02

These are truly greatness