Early child’s car safety seat, Europe, 1958-1963

c.1958-1963 in Europe

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Early childs car seat, intended as a restraint rather than a safety device, unknown maker, European,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Early child’s car seat, intended as a restraint rather than a safety device, unknown maker, European, c.1958-1963

UK road traffic deaths have halved in the last 30 years. A major factor is the development and provision of child safety seats and their subsequent requirement by law. Until the 1960s, most new cars were either not fitted with seatbelts or they were only present in the front. This left children in the back vulnerable should the vehicle crash. This very early steel and leatherette chair was difficult to attach. It appears to be as much a restraint as a safety device. It is fully collapsible and the chair fitted a small child or toddler.

It was one of several donated to the Science Museum by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). The TRL was responsible for ‘dynamic testing’ (involving simulated crashes). These were required for setting up standards and regulations covering car safety seats in the UK. As of 2007, it became law that children up to 135cm or up to 12 years-old (whichever comes first) must travel in the correct child seat. This could be a baby car seat or a ‘booster’ seat for older children.


Public Health & Hygiene
Object Number:
leatherette and steel
child's car seat
TRL (Transport Research Laboratory)

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.