Automobile Dashboard Pad

Description
In the 1930s, Dr. Claire L. Straith, a Detroit plastic surgeon who treated automobile accident victims, began a one-man campaign to eliminate head and facial injuries caused by steel dashboards, protruding knobs, and other car interior hazards. He installed lap belts in his own car, and he designed and patented a dashboard crash pad. This example is the only remaining pad that Straith owned. In the 1940s, he unsuccessfully marketed an add-on dashboard pad that could be ordered by mail. Padded dashboards became standard equipment in 1949 Chrysler cars and in all cars by 1968.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
automobile dashboard pad
Physical Description
metal (part: attaching chains material)
fabric (overall material)
foam rubber (inside material)
metal (inside framework material)
Measurements
overall: 8 1/2 in x 20 in x 1 in; 21.59 cm x 50.8 cm x 2.54 cm
part: attaching chain: 5 1/2 in; 13.97 cm
part: attaching chain: 4 in; 10.16 cm
ID Number
2008.0073.01
catalog number
2008.0073.01
accession number
2008.0073
subject
Road Transportation
Transportation
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Janet Straith Husband

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.