Defensive Driving Blog

What’s in your glove box?

A Versatile Storage Compartment

I was just curious and decided to do a search on “glove compartment”, not thinking that I would discover anything of interest. Much to my delight there were a number of interesting, although not really news worthy, articles on that handy storage area we all take for granted.

Glove Compartment

Also referred to as a “glove box” the term originated in the early days of the automobile as a place to store, you got it, gloves. Early autos did not have heaters so it was essential to have gloves on hand ( No pun intended – or was it?). In England and parts of the northwest United States, these compartments were  called “jockey boxes.” The only explanation for this being that the car was also referred to as a “horseless carriage”, so those who rode in them were jockeys. Not a term that lasted long.

According to auto historians, Packard’s earliest autos were the 1st to have glove compartments. In early ads for a 1900 Packard the box had “ample space for parcels, waterproofs, etc.”.  According to the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nev., the 1900 Packard style glove compartment was copied by many other early automakers, including the 1902 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Roundabout with its leather satchel and the 1903 Duryea with a box built into the dash that opened on top. By the 1930s the glove box was standard equipment.

Today automakers are trying to sell us on alternate uses for our glove box. In 2008 Dodge’s big selling point for the Caliber and Avenger sedans was the Chill Zone, a refrigerated storage area for beverages where the glove box normally is found. Nissan’s Rogue crossover utility vehicle and Sentra sedan both have glove boxes deep enough to house a laptop computer. This way they can be locked up when the driver exits the vehicle.

The web abounds with sites on what to keep in your glove compartment, how to organize it, fix a crack in it, find replacement locks, etc.  Whether you use your glove compartment for papers, your owner’s manual, toiletries or a six pack of Diet DP, it is a useful and often underutilized feature available to every driver on the road. And when you need any kind of information at all on driving, and sometimes auto trivia, count on, the first mobile defensive driving school in Texas

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