I vaguely remember reading the first rear view mirror was put on a race car in about 1918. When did they become available aftermarket? What was the first car to be factory equipped with a mirror?
Did a mirror ever come standard on the T?
Nope,Mormon Wasp 1911.Bud.
Here is an early aftermarket hind view mirror.
Copy states the "latest and most perfect" so there were some others before this mfg style.
Automobile Supply Co, New York, 1915
"Clear rear view of over a 1000 ft" Wonder if anyone beleived that? Maybe when car is parked.
Vibrations tend to make these things marginal at best.
Found this interesting tid bit while looking at the above adv for the 'mirrorscope'.
I suspect back in the early days, that the commom item we call the 'rear view mirror' didn't get that moniker till much later. Searching old magazine for 'rear view mirrors' won't find anything.
But here is a descriptive paragraph of automobile supplies shown at the New York Auto Show, Jan 6 1909.
One of the suppliers there, "C. Cowles & Co." had there exhibit, and the wares shown which included "mirrorscopes". So this thing, which may be a rear view mirror, could make the dating of rear view mirrors on autos prior to the famous race car, Mormon Wasp in the Indy 500, who sported a mirror in 1911.
Facts may be that rear view mirrors were on autos in 1909 or earlier!
Note the paragraph top right, next to last sentence...
Jan 6, 1909, Vol.23, No. 1, The Horseless Age, page 21.
Dang! I have a 5" nickel mirror that looks 100% identical to the one in your ad, Dan. Could you turn the ad over, so I can see the back side of the mirror?
It needs some work, which I'll give it now, for sure. It has a flat face, so I don't know how it would diminish. I have to take it apart, anyhow, so I'll check the back surface for curvature.
In 1913 there were ads for Mirrorscope goggles so motorcycle
riders could “see everything behind without turning around”
I’m sure that vanity would have open car drivers or passengers
looking in their pocket mirrors to see if their hair was mussed up
(and why wouldn’t it be?), only to discover they could see behind.
Here are the earliest patents that I could quickly find with a
reference to mirrorscopes.
This one was attached across the top of the windshield.
Patent number: 1437974
Filing date: Aug 2, 1913
Renewed Jan 16, 1919
Issue date: Dec 5, 1922
Attached to spotlight
Patent number: 1220334
Filing date: Jun 2, 1916
Issue date: Mar 27, 1917
Attached to spotlight
Patent number: 1230144
Filing date: Aug 24, 1916
Issue date: Jun 19, 1917
Thanks, guys. Looks like Art and Dan info could add to what Wiki has:
The rear-view mirror's earliest known use and mention is by Dorothy Levitt in her 1906 book The Woman and the Car which noted that women should "carry a little hand-mirror in a convenient place when driving" so they may "hold the mirror aloft from time to time in order to see behind while driving in traffic", thereby inventing the rear view mirror before it was introduced by manufacturers in 1914. 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 the same purpose on a horse-drawn vehicle in 1904.
Elmer Berger, is usually credited with inventing the rear-view mirror, though in fact he was the first develop it for incorporation into production streetgoing automobiles.
Wiki has nothing on "mirrorscope."
Actually, the original word for a 'silvered' reflecting glass was in fact LOOKING GLASS and that may help when searching...
I have no idea when the ubiquitous term 'looking glass' changed to 'mirror'. In the early 20th century, they were also referred to a 'silvered reflecting glass', a term used by one of the foremost custom glass etchers and relief cutters in the Philadelphia area, George B. Almond who plied his trade by making and silvering custom backside cut and polished then silvered 'glass'
Amazing what you find if you look for it. Just ran across my Motor Supply Co., Chicago, 1911 Catalog (205 pages) and there on page 87 is a round convex mirror and a flat rectangular mirror with clamp for tubular windshield. In the index they are called limousine mirrors. The word, "Mirrorscope" is not used at all.
It's amazing what was available aftermarket that early.
I don't think it's amazing what was available then. In those days, entrepreneurs could make money because they could keep their profits. Sadly, that has changed drastically in 100 years.
I have a set of early wind deflectors on my 26 that have built in spot mirrors.
Since I lost something in resize it says "The Benzer rear view wind deflector Pat Pending"
Hmmm - the original “Convex” mirror with out the warning??
“Objects may be closer then they appear . . .
Patent number: 1401942
Filing date: Jul 29, 1920
Issue date: Dec 1921
Thanks A.J. at least I now know about how old mine are. You amaze me the way you can come up with all of these patents. Thanks again Jim