Saturday, July 24, 2010

Smithsonian including auto crash dummies

GM donated two crash dummies to the Smithsonian. Also donated were costumes for the two dummies in 1980s ads, Vince and Larry. These donations, among others, are destined for an auto-safety exhibit.

Vince and Larry, the dummies

Integrated in the giant donation to the Smithsonian were the “Vince” and “Larry” costumes. The Leo Burnett Agency used them within the 1980s to help people want to use seat belts. Humor was used rather than the vulgar commercials many saw. Vince and Larry became icons and now could be preserved in a museum.

Other things donated to the exhibit

The auto safety exhibit at the Smithsonian museum integrated a number of other major developments in car safety. The donation had a seat and first three point safety belt from 1961 dontation. The first collapsible steering column from a 1967 Chevrolet was donated by the Chevrolet business. General Motors added donations of its Hybrid III and 50H-1 crash test dummies, which are used as most recently as six months ago. The American Automobile Association also donated a number of driver training manuals from the 1930s, including “wartime” and “sportsmanlike” driving manuals.

The evolution of automobile safety

Until the 1960s, vehicle safety wasn’t a public thing, although there were always developments going. Lap and shoulder belts became something required then although it took a lot to get individuals to use them. Drivers didn’t want to be “stuck” in a car because of their seatbelt. Security features within the car, some thought in the 70s, made them look like they were bad drivers and gave them a bad image.

Crash test PSA

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