Coats, and gloves, and goggles, oh my!

Amanda Rockwood

Wednesday Aug 3rd, 2022

Each and every day people get into their cars to travel from point A to point B. Most of us would never give it second thought to our journey. Some of the first cars were open meaning the riders were exposed to the weather, debris, etc. Today though, we have the luxury to jump into our fully covered cars and go where we want, whenever we want to.

1903 Ford
2022 Ford

Today I thought it would be interesting to look into the different accessories needed to ride in an open car at the time. These items included riding coats, gloves, and googles. Here are the Hagen History Center, we have some examples of each.

First accessory was the riding coat. They were meant to protect the riders clothing from becoming dirty and keep the rider warm. They would be loose fitting for the wearer’s mobility. They were made from heavy duty materials such as cloth, leather, and fur. During warmer weather coats got thinner, being made of linen or wool.

Driving coat from the Hagen History Center collection.

The next item a rider would wear was gloves. Gloves, like coats, were worn for protection from the element. More importantly, they helped with grip. Gloves were usually made of leather and went over the wearer’s wrists. The help in grip was needed due to the lack of power steering. As time went on, steering became easier which changed the look and material of gloves. They became thinner and shorter over time.

Leather gloves from the Hagen History Center collection.

Lastly, are the riding goggles which again, were worn for protective reasons. These were extremely important because if they were not worn, damage could be done to the rider’s eyes. They were worn throughout the year to protect the rider’s eyes from debris and other elements. I even read that some doctors recommended cleaning our your eyes after driving around just to make sure nothing got into your eyes and that if something did, you could get it out as soon as possible.

Driving goggles from the Hagen History Center collection.

To conclude this blog, I just want to remind people of how important it is to look back into the past. We can all learn so much from it and come to appreciate what we have now. Next time you get in your car just remember all the clothes and accessories you would have had to put on before taking a drive.

Image from Google