Wednesday, July 18, 2012

FranktoidTM No. 7 - Ford Had The Better Idea

Did you know that the first child safety seat was made by an auto manufacturer? It looks like Ford was first out of the gate in early 1968, designing a seat equipped with a molded plastic shield fitted with a foam pad to protect young passengers. Ford dubbed it the "Tot-Guard". GM soon followed suit with it's own infant seat, and cleverly called it the "Love Seat for toddlers". GM is also credited with designing the first rear-facing child restraint seat. These early child safety seats are rarer then rare, and next to impossible to find a photograph of.

There are plenty of examples of earlier "child seats" but these are not to be confused with actual safety seats. These non-safety seats usually hung over the back of the front seat facing forward, with no restraints whatsoever. Franks Classic Car Blog has actually obtained a grainy, black and white photograph of the Ford safety seat, which I believe was a press handout back in the day.
Ford's first car seat. Too bad the child can't see forward.

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