A Graphic History of Child “Safety” Seats
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