Thursday, January 05, 2012

Car Trivia: Safety Glass

I've always wondered about this. Watching Pawn Stars the other night, they were looking at buying an old 1924 automobile and I got to wondering again. This time I remembered the next morning to try and find an answer. Link
First, I've always wondered when auto safety glass was invented and first used. Second, what happened before cars were equipped with safety glass? I would think the slightest accident might result in a real mess when the windows broke and people were cut to shreds from the broken window glass. I was at least partly right on the second question.

What I found was that auto accidents were quite the mess back in the early days but, at the start, cars weren't equipped with windows. That's why you see drivers and passengers wearing goggles while in the first cars, and they were generally fair weather vehicles only used when it wasn't raining.

Once they started putting windows on cars, as this page relates, the carnage began. The inventor of safety glass stumbled upon it by accident but realized the real- life application of his discovery after reading that the most serious injuries from auto accidents was from broken glass.

That was back around 1903. It wasn't until after World War 1 that auto makers routinely began using safety glass.

Next question, which I haven't found a definite answer to, is when the first recorded automobile collision happened. I did find mention of the supposed first automobile fatality. That was back in 1879 when a person fell out of a car and was run over by its wheels. Can anyone find mention of the first recorded car vs. car collision?


At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Free Marketeer said...

Safety glass is just another anti-business, nanny state requirement that trammels our right to be eviscerated as we fly freely through our windshields.

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Eel River Ernie said...

The first automobile accident in the U.S was attributed to a Mrs.Selden when she backed into the carraige house in 1895. Mrs. Seldon was the then wife of a Mr. George Baldwin Selden (1846-1922)


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