An offering that has become so common that we absolutely ignore it nowadays, the glove box compartment really comes in handy when you need extra storage. But with a rich history associated with it, it’s time we paid some attention to it. So here is everything you need to know about the history of the legendary glove box.

What’s a glove box?

Upper and Lower Cooled Glove Box
Upper and Lower Division Glove Box

Often termed as just another cubby hole in a vehicle, the Glove Box is much more than that. Technically, it is a sealed or unsealed container onboard an automobile that is now primarily used for the storage of essential items such as documents, food items, an extra pair of goggles and much more. But historically speaking, the glove box was initially designed to be a place that was used to store gloves! Well, that right.

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The history behind the glove box

The History of the Glove Compartment

Cars back in the late 17th and 18th centuries did not have a roof. Even when the roofs were added, windows didn’t immediately follow. And even when they did, air conditioners and heaters were nowhere to be found. Well, driving a car back then wasn’t as comfortable as it is now.

Exposed to breezing winds and seasonal changes, good pair of gloves was pretty necessary to overcome the cold. And to make sure that the gloves stored remained dry and secure, it was necessary to store them in a compartment that could remain totally dry from splashes, rain and moisture. This is how the first glove box onboard the Packard was born and how the storage space got its name.

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The Mid-20th Century

Cooled Glove box | Skoda Rapid
Glove Compartments

During the mid-20th century, manufacturers were successful in developing the first heating systems, but even then driving gloves stayed in fashion. This continued till the late 50s and early 60s, after which car manufacturers started to offer glove boxes with indentations for placing beverages and drinks. The size, however, still remained bulky.

In time, however, manufacturers reduced the compartment size to a place for stashing stuff, such as hidden flashlights and vehicle locks etc.

The Modern-Day Evolution

15L Cooled Glove Box
15L Cooled Glove Compartment

Even though glove compartments haven’t essentially changed, the purposes for which they are used are now infinite. Probably this is the reason why several manufacturers chose to put in everything from shelves, charging pockets to even stereo connections as well.

Moreover, the need for utility has forced car makers to even include two or sometimes even three glove boxes onboard. The latest evolution of the glove box has air conditioning vents placed inside them to keep drinks, cans and other materials chill. From storing gloves to storing drinks that can even be chilled, the glove box is definitely more than just a cubby hole!

So this was the history of the glove compartment, stay pinned to the GoMechanic to read about everything automotive.

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