A car is a precise mechanism, thought out to the smallest detail, the development of which has been going on for years. And although engineers try to provide all the conveniences for the driver, only the owner himself can create a truly "homey" in the car. At different times, for this, whatever was used. We recalled the 10 most popular decorations and tell the story of their appearance.
Cloth curtains on glass began to appear in cars simultaneously with closed bodies, that is, at the beginning of the twentieth century. This was not surprising: wealthy people have always wanted to maintain their privacy. They did the same in the days of carriages and horse-drawn carriages.
Since only very rich people could afford such a luxury as a covered car, the curtains were also made of the most noble fabrics, like velvet. And these curtains were not much different from those that hung in the mansions of the same rich.
But the curtains weren't limited to limousines. Around the same time, at the beginning of the twentieth century, they began to appear on buses. But they were made not of velvet, but of coarse tarpaulin, and the curtains performed an unusual function for our days. The first covered buses were deprived of side windows, so when it started to rain, passengers quickly unhooked the curtains fixed in the area of the racks and opened them to the entire area of the windows so that moisture would not get into the cabin.
In the Soviet Union, the curtains on the windows featured government cars - "Seagulls" and ZiL. And since to be involved in the party elite wanted, if not all, then many, home-made curtains appeared on the "Volga", Zhiguli and "Moskvich" proletarians.
1950s: hula dancer figurine
A smiling dark-skinned girl with a flower in her hair, a wreath around her neck and a skirt of leaves became a symbol of the Hawaiian Islands at the beginning of the twentieth century. And already in the 1920s, the production of collectible figurines was launched. Well, you know, to bring a souvenir from Hawaii, put it on a fireplace shelf and remember your vacation on long winter evenings.
However, such figures appeared as decorations in cars much later. The first to use them were American veterans of World War II, who have fond memories of serving in Hawaii: the locals warmly welcomed the military and made them happy with a hula dance.
The first statuettes of dancers appeared on the dashboard of American cars in the early 50s. The classic statuette, called the HulGirl Nodder, is divided into two parts, which are connected by a spring hidden under the skirt. Therefore, while moving, the young lady shakes her hips, as if performing a dance. Since most cars in the 1950s were metal dashboards, the HulGirl was attached very simply - with a magnet on a stand.
Figures have become so popular that many countries, including Japan, have acquired the rights to make them. They remain in vogue now: if you meet a surfer or the owner of a classic car from Florida and California, then almost certainly there will be such a figurine in his car.
1950s: dice on a mirror
Dice also appeared in car salons at the suggestion of World War II veterans. According to legend, American pilots came up with the idea of hanging the dice. Before combat missions, they attached a couple of bones in the cockpit of the aircraft in such a way that seven points were facing the pilot - it was believed that such a talisman would bring good luck. The second legend is slightly different and says that the bones were hung without reference to numbers - they say, it was just a symbol that the profession of pilots is very risky and that not all pilots will be lucky to return to base.
Nevertheless, the tradition of decorating a car interior with dice definitely came from aviation.It was spied on by Mark Shepherd Jr., the former head of Texas Instruments, and in 1952 created classic bones with an edge length of 8 centimeters. The businessman also hoped that such a symbol would bring him (and Texas Instruments) good luck. It looks like the bones worked - the firm exists and lives on to this day.
In 1959, Ed Sunberg and Lup Zavala created Deccofelt Corp. in California, which began producing soft polyurethane bones with tissue dots on them. Later, they began to sheathe the entire surface of the cubes with fabric. Well, later their padding became lighter and softer to the touch.
But in the state of Nevada, for example, such interior decor is prohibited at the legislative level. It is believed that the bones with their swaying distract the driver's attention. Although a 1993 study refuted this claim.
1950s: Sheepskin covers
If you take a good look, then this invention is the oldest one presented here: the use of sheep wool as pillows on carts dates back to the Bronze Age. And this is 3200-600 BC! But then, for obvious reasons, there were no car seats.
It has not been established exactly who and when began to sew sheepskin covers for car seats. It is only known that in the northern countries of Europe, covers became popular in the early 50s, and in the United States - in the mid 70s. Hippies especially liked these covers, because sheep wool was obtained without killing animals.
The popularity of sheepskin was due to the fact that it did not freeze in cold weather, provided good thermoregulation in hot weather and was hypoallergenic. That is why sheepskin covers can be found in some motorists even today.
1952: scent herringbone
In the 1990s, the famous "Christmas tree" hung on almost all car mirrors in the post-Soviet space, but now its popularity has fallen noticeably. Maybe she's tired, or maybe she was replaced by more modern flavors, the choice of which is greater than ever …
The smelly tree is actually called Wunder-Baum. According to the history of the manufacturer, the scent tree that was hung on the rearview mirror was invented in 1952 by Julius Samann in Watertown, New York. Julius spent 5 years in the Canadian wilderness mixing aromatic oils from different trees and herbs before creating a universal fragrance. How many aromatic oils are in modern Wunder-Baum is an open question.
Now the tree can smell not only of needles, but also of leather, flowers, citrus, lemonade and even fruit gum.
1964: steering wheel braid
In racing cars, fabric braiding dates back to the early days of motorsport and served three purposes. Firstly, it did not allow the rudder to slide in the pilots' hands in long turns or during fast rotation. Secondly, at the very least, it dampened vibrations and shocks, and thirdly, it protected the hands of the riders from burns. In those years, the steering wheels were most often metal, therefore, from the high temperature of the engine and transmission, the steering wheel heated up to crazy temperatures. Later, the braiding was replaced by wooden rim pads, which perfectly insulated the heat of the metal.
When it comes to civil braids, Karl Mayer and his company Kamei were one of the pioneers. The same company that in the 80s was remembered for crazy body kits for Volkswagen cars. Mayer, a former VW engineer, has always been looking for a way to make the driving experience as comfortable and safe as possible. So in 1964 he introduced Avus, a patented 972-hole braid that made the rims thicker and more grippy. The invention blew up the market: by the mid-80s, more than 20 million Afus were sold, and today the total circulation has reached 100 million.
In the Soviet Union, braids appeared much later - in the early 80s. They were made from wire by textile enterprises, such as the Oryol plant. Since the steering wheels of Soviet cars were similar, the braids were universal.There were also leather options, but they were not so common.
1965: Dogs with Shaking Heads
If you read the story "The Overcoat" by Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol, you will be convinced that miniature figures of animals with shaking heads existed back in 1841. Then, however, they were worn on the hem of hats. And they settled in cars much later.
Dogs for installation on the front panel began to be produced in 1965 in Germany. They were called Wackeldackel, which translates as "swaying dachshund" - because this breed served as the prototype for the first batch. Initially, the demand for nodding dogs, invented by Wolfgang Budwell, was disastrously low: the first batch was barely sold by the early 1970s, after which the dogs were released in very small editions.
However, in the late 1990s, the charismatic dachshund appeared in an advertisement for the Aral gas station, and the long-awaited success came to the dogs. In the first eight months of 1999 alone, Coburg Heinze & Co. sold over 800 thousand Wackeldackel. True, this company decided to release dogs without Budwell's consent, so the inventor filed a lawsuit against the corporation. And won it.
For a while, nodding dogs were popular in the post-Soviet space as well. However, thanks to them, you have a chance win iPad Pro 11! Come up with a unique design for a souvenir dog, and we will not only give you a cool tablet, but also release a batch of figurines with your design. Go for it!
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1980s: wood massage pad
Initially, the pad, consisting of many wooden rollers fastened together, was used at home - on rocking chairs, sofas, and so on. It appeared in cars around the early 1980s. The Americans attribute this invention to the Taiwanese: they say that experimental medicine, a hot climate and the constantly numb backs of taxi drivers produced such an accessory. On the other hand, similar capes were seen around the same time in African countries.
There is no scientific evidence that this massager has a positive effect on the back. But it does help air circulation, so in hot weather the driver is less likely to stick to the back of the seat.
1980s: Plexiglass knobs for gearshift knob
In the early 80s, Soviet citizens were looking for an opportunity to somehow individualize their cars. There were not so many options, so the unnamed genius decided to make a unique gearbox knob. All that was needed for this was a few pieces of plexiglass, dichloroethane, a lathe, drills, a polishing wheel and straight arms. The output was the most recognizable non-factory element of Soviet cars - the same knob with a rose, a scorpion, a spider … Who had enough imagination for what.
The growing demand for such an unpretentious tuning has led to the fact that the production of beautiful handles has been put on stream. Rumor has it that the knobs were also made by prisoners. Finally, such embellishment is a purely Soviet exclusive. Abroad, this element of the interior was also customized, but by different methods.
1980s: the dancing flower
You may have seen a plastic flower that constantly moves its leaves on buses or trucks. A funny toy that seems to be the embodiment of the idea of a perpetual motion machine.
In fact, there is no magic in the work of a flip-flop (and this is what this design is called): the device operates from an electric charge created by a small solar battery. That is why a flower can wiggle its petals all day if it is placed under glass.
The toy was invented in Japan in the late 80s, and already in 1990 it was patented in most countries. The flip-flop is attributed to the well-known Japanese company TAKARTOMY, founded in 1955.Nowadays, a flip-flap can be not only a flower, but also, for example, an angel whose wings flap. Or the same hulu dancer, who continues her dance even while parked.