Mar 9, 2018

Two Car Part Inventors

Early automobiles had tillers, similar to the tillers used to steer boats. The tiller was attached to a simple mechanism that made the car’s front wheels turn when the tiller was pushed to the left or right. During 1894, a French engineer named Alfred Vacheron modified his Panhard runabout, replacing the tiller with a wheel attached to a shaft that went through the floor of the vehicle at a nearly vertical angle, where it attached to a mechanism that turned the front wheels.

Packard likely came up with the glove box. An article in a 1900 edition of The Horseless Age magazine describes the Model B: “The body of the carriage shows the best possible coach work and upholstering, and the aim has been to get rid of the ‘horse wanted’ appearance. The leather dash is not used, but instead a boot or box forms part of the body. In this is ample space for parcels, waterproofs, etc.” Other automakers soon started adding compartment-like features in place of old-fashioned dashes. The modern-looking glove compartment, with a drop-down door, first appeared during the 1920s.