The Glorious State Of Toddler Safety In The 'Good Enough' Era

Illustration for article titled The Glorious State Of Toddler Safety In The Good Enough Era

One of my favorite parts of my job is finding cars I can successfully schlep my toddler around in. I've done it plenty in my old Beetle, but I've never done it with the sort of carefree whatthefuckitude shown here in this amazing article.


Loyal Jalop Coty showed me this, and it's fascinating. This was once considered just fine. If I tried it today they might let me make my own topshot for the inevitable Gawker article headlined Idiot Dad Leashes Kid To Car Seat.

The method shown here by W. U. McCoy in this still unidentified publication, from around the early '60s, is sort of ingenious. You just take a readily available kid harness, and using what I think may be a dog leash, connect that harness to a strap looped around the rear backrest.


This lets the kid stand up, jump, lay down, all while being tethered to the back seat! Genius, by 1960s safety standards, right?

Of course, in an accident at best this thing would keep the kid from immediately flying across the car and out the windshield, and instead just let him get whipped around and battered against all the air-bagless metal surfaces, like a salami swung on a rope in an elevator.

I guess better than nothing? Really, what with the fans made from obsolete finger-slicing machines and riding around unbelted in metal-dashed cars, it's a wonder anyone from our parents' and grandparents' generations is even alive.

But they are!

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My X-type is too a real Jaguar

This was also considered acceptable well into the 80s, I spent many hours riding in the back of the family wagon, no seatbelts, hell no seat (the rear seat took up valuable underfloor cargo space, my father always ordered his wagons without the 3rd row)