When’s the Last Time a Rear-view Mirror Made the News?

Cadillac Camera

The first backup camera ever invented was made of glass and adhered to the front windshield. It was called a rear-view mirror. I looked toward Wikipedia for more history on the veritable safety device, because there just isn’t much chatter about them these days. Here’s what I found:

The earliest known rear-view mirror mounted on a motor vehicle appeared in Ray Harroun’s Marmon racecar at the inaugural Indianapolis 500 race in 1911. Although Harroun’s is the first known use of such a mirror on a motor vehicle, Harroun himself claimed he got the idea from seeing a mirror used for a similar purpose on a horse-drawn vehicle in 1904. Harroun also claimed that the mirror vibrated constantly due to the rough brick surface, rendering it largely useless.

Elmer Berger is usually credited with inventing the rear-view mirror, though in fact he was the first to patent it (1921) and develop it for incorporation into production streetgoing automobiles by his Berger and Company.

So there you have it. The rear-view mirror hasn’t made the news since about 1921.

Leave it Cadillac to make the rear-view cool again.

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