This 1930s Invention Made Parallel Parking Much Easier
Dhir Acharya - Aug 31, 2019
Today, some cars can help you with parallel parking if you just simply press a button, but it used to be much different in the past.
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Today, some cars can help you with parallel parking if you just simply press a button, but it used to be much different in the past. In the 30s, car drivers had to parallel park in the old way, and in the following video, you’ll see how an inventor in California came up with a plan to help drivers do this easily.
As explained by the 1933 newsreel, a genius in California disproved the saying “useless as a fifth wheel.” In fact, his fifth wheel moves sideways, helping you sneak into the smallest space.
The invention, whose name remains unknown, appearing in the video is really from 1933. Getty Images owns a film copy of this clip, which dates back January 1, 1933.
However, this fifth wheel was not the first invention to ease parking. In the following clip from 1927 released by British Pathe, you can see a similar concept in France. With the design in this video, the car’s front wheels fold in, which may reduce the stability of the vehicle when it’s driving properly. However, safety is not always prioritized for future designs.
In the 40s and 50s, there were many other designs meant for easing car travel as well as parking. For example, in 1948, the Davis Three-Wheeler solved the problem with parallel parking by simply omitting one front wheel.
The flashiest technologies for futures seem to get the most attention like hovering, flying, and self-driving varieties. Sometimes, though, all we want is just easier parking, and these weird inventions can actually help us, decades before robots help us drive.