History Podcasts

Destroyer Evolution 1953-1962

Destroyer Evolution 1953-1962

U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann .The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.

Fidel Castro

Cuban leader Fidel Castro (1926-2016) established the first communist state in the Western Hemisphere after leading an overthrow of the military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1959. He ruled over Cuba for nearly five decades, until handing off power to his younger brother Raúl in 2008. 

Castro’s regime was successful in reducing illiteracy, stamping out racism and improving public health care, but was widely criticized for stifling economic and political freedoms. Castro’s Cuba also had a highly antagonistic relationship with the United States–most notably resulting in the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis. The two nations officially normalized relations in July 2015, ending a trade embargo that had been in place since 1960, when U.S.-owned businesses in Cuba were nationalized without compensation. Castro died on November 25, 2016, at 90.


A Republic Venator-class Star Destroyer

During the Clone Wars, the Galactic Republic Navy fielded a fleet of Venator-class Star Destroyers. The Venator-class saw action in numerous battles against the Confederacy navy including the Battle of Coruscant. Following the transformation of the Republic into the Galactic Empire, the Republic's Star Destroyers were incorporated into the new Imperial Navy. Γ] Aside from the Venator and Imperial-class Star Destroyers, other known models in Imperial service included the Victory and Secutor-class Star Destroyers. Δ]

During the rebellion and the Galactic Civil War, Imperial Star Destroyers took part in numerous engagements against the various rebel forces that eventually coalesced into the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Ε] Ζ] Star Destroyers were deployed during the secret mission to Tatooine, Η] Battle of Hoth, ⎖] and the Battle of Endor. ⎗]

Imperial-class Star Destroyers were the backbone of the Imperial Navy.

Following the events at Endor, the Rebel Alliance's successor government, the New Republic, captured and destroyed numerous Star Destroyers in several engagements including the Battle of Theed, ⎘] the Rebellion on Akiva, ⎙] the Battle for Kuat Drive Yards, and the Liberation of Kashyyyk. ⎚] By 5 ABY, ⎛] Grand Admiral Rae Sloane estimated that 75% of the Imperial Star Destroyers before Endor had either been destroyed, captured, or lost in "confirmable if curious ways." While trawling through the archives at the Hall of Imperial Register on Coruscant, Sloane discovered that the remaining 25% had mysteriously disappeared and their purported destruction had been falsified. ⎚]

Later, Sloane learned that Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax secretly commanded Imperial fleets in the Almagest, the Recluse's Nebula, the Queluhan Nebula, the Ro-Loo Triangle, and the Inamorata. These fleets consisted of hundreds of Star Destroyers and thousands of smaller ships. Following the Attack on Chandrila, Rax ordered the Imperial fleets to assemble above the planet Jakku. ⎚] Numerous Star Destroyers, including Captain Ciena Ree's starship Inflictor, saw action during the Battle of Jakku, the cataclysmic battle that ended the Galactic Civil War in favor of the New Republic. ⎜]

The dorsal hull of the Finalizer

Thirty years after the Battle of Endor, the barren surface of Jakku was still littered with the wreckage of countless Star Destroyers. These derelict starships were regularly targeted by scavengers ⎝] such as Rey. The First Order, a remnant of the Old Empire, was also known to utilize Star Destroyers as part of its fleet, ⎞] such as the First Order's Resurgent-class Star Destroyers, which were inspired by the dagger-shaped design of the Old Empire's vessels. ⎟]

The Cold War: The Atomic Age

The containment strategy also provided the rationale for an unprecedented arms buildup in the United States. In 1950, a National Security Council Report known as NSC� had echoed Truman’s recommendation that the country use military force to contain communist expansionism anywhere it seemed to be occurring. To that end, the report called for a four-fold increase in defense spending.

In particular, American officials encouraged the development of atomic weapons like the ones that had ended World War II. Thus began a deadly 𠇊rms race.” In 1949, the Soviets tested an atom bomb of their own. In response, President Truman announced that the United States would build an even more destructive atomic weapon: the hydrogen bomb, or “superbomb.” Stalin followed suit.

As a result, the stakes of the Cold War were perilously high. The first H-bomb test, in the Eniwetok atoll in the Marshall Islands, showed just how fearsome the nuclear age could be. It created a 25-square-mile fireball that vaporized an island, blew a huge hole in the ocean floor and had the power to destroy half of Manhattan. Subsequent American and Soviet tests spewed radioactive waste into the atmosphere.

The ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation had a great impact on American domestic life as well. People built bomb shelters in their backyards. They practiced attack drills in schools and other public places. The 1950s and 1960s saw an epidemic of popular films that horrified moviegoers with depictions of nuclear devastation and mutant creatures. In these and other ways, the Cold War was a constant presence in Americans’ everyday lives.

The Discovery of the Double Helix, 1951-1953

The discovery in 1953 of the double helix, the twisted-ladder structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), by James Watson and Francis Crick marked a milestone in the history of science and gave rise to modern molecular biology, which is largely concerned with understanding how genes control the chemical processes within cells. In short order, their discovery yielded ground-breaking insights into the genetic code and protein synthesis. During the 1970s and 1980s, it helped to produce new and powerful scientific techniques, specifically recombinant DNA research, genetic engineering, rapid gene sequencing, and monoclonal antibodies, techniques on which today's multi-billion dollar biotechnology industry is founded. Major current advances in science, namely genetic fingerprinting and modern forensics, the mapping of the human genome, and the promise, yet unfulfilled, of gene therapy, all have their origins in Watson and Crick's inspired work. The double helix has not only reshaped biology, it has become a cultural icon, represented in sculpture, visual art, jewelry, and toys.

Researchers working on DNA in the early 1950s used the term "gene" to mean the smallest unit of genetic information, but they did not know what a gene actually looked like structurally and chemically, or how it was copied, with very few errors, generation after generation. In 1944, Oswald Avery had shown that DNA was the "transforming principle," the carrier of hereditary information, in pneumococcal bacteria. Nevertheless, many scientists continued to believe that DNA had a structure too uniform and simple to store genetic information for making complex living organisms. The genetic material, they reasoned, must consist of proteins, much more diverse and intricate molecules known to perform a multitude of biological functions in the cell.

Crick and Watson recognized, at an early stage in their careers, that gaining a detailed knowledge of the three-dimensional configuration of the gene was the central problem in molecular biology. Without such knowledge, heredity and reproduction could not be understood. They seized on this problem during their very first encounter, in the summer of 1951, and pursued it with single-minded focus over the course of the next eighteen months. This meant taking on the arduous intellectual task of immersing themselves in all the fields of science involved: genetics, biochemistry, chemistry, physical chemistry, and X-ray crystallography. Drawing on the experimental results of others (they conducted no DNA experiments of their own), taking advantage of their complementary scientific backgrounds in physics and X-ray crystallography (Crick) and viral and bacterial genetics (Watson), and relying on their brilliant intuition, persistence, and luck, the two showed that DNA had a structure sufficiently complex and yet elegantly simple enough to be the master molecule of life.

Other researchers had made important but seemingly unconnected findings about the composition of DNA it fell to Watson and Crick to unify these disparate findings into a coherent theory of genetic transfer. The organic chemist Alexander Todd had determined that the backbone of the DNA molecule contained repeating phosphate and deoxyribose sugar groups. The biochemist Erwin Chargaff had found that while the amount of DNA and of its four types of bases--the purine bases adenine (A) and guanine (G), and the pyrimidine bases cytosine (C) and thymine(T)--varied widely from species to species, A and T always appeared in ratios of one-to-one, as did G and C. Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin had obtained high-resolution X-ray images of DNA fibers that suggested a helical, corkscrew-like shape. Linus Pauling, then the world's leading physical chemist, had recently discovered the single-stranded alpha helix, the structure found in many proteins, prompting biologists to think of helical forms. Moreover, he had pioneered the method of model building in chemistry by which Watson and Crick were to uncover the structure of DNA. Indeed, Crick and Watson feared that they would be upstaged by Pauling, who proposed his own model of DNA in February 1953, although his three-stranded helical structure quickly proved erroneous.

The time, then, was ripe for their discovery. After several failed attempts at model building, including their own ill-fated three-stranded version and one in which the bases were paired like with like (adenine with adenine, etc.), they achieved their break-through. Jerry Donohue, a visiting physical chemist from the United States who shared Watson and Crick's office for the year, pointed out that the configuration for the rings of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen (the elements of all four bases) in thymine and guanine given in most textbooks of chemistry was incorrect. On February 28, 1953, Watson, acting on Donohue's advice, put the two bases into their correct form in cardboard models by moving a hydrogen atom from a position where it bonded with oxygen to a neighboring position where it bonded with nitrogen. While shifting around the cardboard cut-outs of the accurate molecules on his office table, Watson realized in a stroke of inspiration that A, when joined with T, very nearly resembled a combination of C and G, and that each pair could hold together by forming hydrogen bonds. If A always paired with T, and likewise C with G, then not only were Chargaff's rules (that in DNA, the amount of A equals that of T, and C that of G) accounted for, but the pairs could be neatly fitted between the two helical sugar-phosphate backbones of DNA, the outside rails of the ladder. The bases connected to the two backbones at right angles while the backbones retained their regular shape as they wound around a common axis, all of which were structural features demanded by the X-ray evidence. Similarly, the complementary pairing of the bases was compatible with the fact, also established by the X-ray diffraction pattern, that the backbones ran in opposite direction to each other, one up, the other down.

Watson and Crick published their findings in a one-page paper, with the understated title "A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid," in the British scientific weekly Nature on April 25, 1953, illustrated with a schematic drawing of the double helix by Crick's wife, Odile. A coin toss decided the order in which they were named as authors. Foremost among the "novel features" of "considerable biological interest" they described was the pairing of the bases on the inside of the two DNA backbones: A=T and C=G. The pairing rule immediately suggested a copying mechanism for DNA: given the sequence of the bases in one strand, that of the other was automatically determined, which meant that when the two chains separated, each served as a template for a complementary new chain. Watson and Crick developed their ideas about genetic replication in a second article in Nature, published on May 30, 1953.

The two had shown that in DNA, form is function: the double-stranded molecule could both produce exact copies of itself and carry genetic instructions. During the following years, Crick elaborated on the implications of the double-helical model, advancing the hypothesis, revolutionary then but widely-accepted since, that the sequence of the bases in DNA forms a code by which genetic information can be stored and transmitted.

Although recognized today as one of the seminal scientific papers of the twentieth century, Watson and Crick's original article in Nature was not frequently cited at first. Its true significance became apparent, and its circulation widened, only towards the end of the 1950s, when the structure of DNA they had proposed was shown to provide a mechanism for controlling protein synthesis, and when their conclusions were confirmed in the laboratory by Matthew Meselson, Arthur Kornberg, and others.

Crick himself immediately understood the significance of his and Watson's discovery. As Watson recalled, after their conceptual breakthrough on February 28, 1953, Crick declared to the assembled lunch patrons at The Eagle that they had "found the secret of life." Crick himself had no memory of such an announcement, but did recall telling his wife that evening "that we seemed to have made a big discovery." He revealed that "years later she told me that she hadn't believed a word of it." As he recounted her words, "You were always coming home and saying things like that, so naturally I thought nothing of it."

Retrospective accounts of the discovery of the structure of DNA have continued to elicit a measure of controversy. Crick was incensed at Watson's depiction of their collaboration in The Double Helix (1968), castigating the book as a betrayal of their friendship, an intrusion into his privacy, and a distortion of his motives. He waged an unsuccessful campaign to prevent its publication. He eventually became reconciled to Watson's bestseller, concluding that if it presented an unfavorable portrait of a scientist, it was of Watson, not of himself.

A more enduring controversy has been generated by Watson and Crick's use of Rosalind Franklin's crystallographic evidence of the structure of DNA, which was shown to them, without her knowledge, by her estranged colleague, Maurice Wilkins, and by Max Perutz. Her evidence demonstrated that the two sugar-phosphate backbones lay on the outside of the molecule, confirmed Watson and Crick's conjecture that the backbones formed a double helix, and revealed to Crick that they were antiparallel. Franklin's superb experimental work thus proved crucial in Watson and Crick's discovery. Yet, they gave her scant acknowledgment. Even so, Franklin bore no resentment towards them. She had presented her findings at a public seminar to which she had invited the two. She soon left DNA research to study tobacco mosaic virus. She became friends with both Watson and Crick, and spent her last period of remission from ovarian cancer in Crick's house (Franklin died in 1958). Crick believed that he and Watson used her evidence appropriately, while admitting that their patronizing attitude towards her, so apparent in The Double Helix, reflected contemporary conventions of gender in science.

Historical Football Kits

Chelsea joined the League before they had played a single game - an achievement they share with Bradford City. The club came into being at the behest of a builder, Gus Mears and his brother who aquired the site of the Stamford Bridge Athletic ground and a neighbouring market garden with a view to building a football stadium. The plan lay fallow for a while until the Great Western Railway Company approached the brothers to buy the land for marshalling yards. Rather than sell their asset, the Mears brothers raised the money they needed to build the second largest stadium in England after Crystal Palace and called it Stamford Bridge. When Fulham FC declined an invitation to move in because the annual £1,500 rent was too high, the brothers simply went ahead and formed their own club, Chelsea FC. After an approach to join the Southern League was snubbed following objections from Spurs and Fulham, Chelsea successfuly applied to join the Second Division of the Football League.

Initially, Chelsea played in the racing colours associated with the Earl of Cadogan, who was the club's president and also held the title Viscount Chelsea. Weatherby's Ltd, who maintain historical records of racing silks, have confirmed to HFK that these colours were Eton blue and white. Club historians have suggested several dates for the switch to royal blue but the earliest reference, a match programme found by Nik Yeomans (April 2019) records that Chelsea wore "blue and white" against Lincoln City on 13 October 1906.

The club was nicknamed "The Pensioners" because of the association with the war veterans in their famous red uniforms known as the Chelsea Pensioners, which was reflected in their official crest. This never appeared on the team shirts.

After finishing third in their first season, Chelsea was promoted to Division One for the first time in 1907, their second season. They made little impression, however, and spent most of the Twenties in Division Two. The club flirted with success but never fulfilled their potential. The club has always enjoyed the patronage of celebrity supporters because of its fashionable location and proximity to the West End. Many star players graced the team in the inter-war years but nevertheless, they became a music hall joke with a reputation as the proverbial "nearly team."

In 1930 a look was established that became the template for the next 25 years, consisting of royal blue shirts with contrasting rugby-style collars, white knickers, black stockings with blue and white turnovers. Hooped socks that appear to be light blue and white were worn in a reds v blues pre-season game in 1934 and again in home matches against Spurs (15 Sept 1934) and Stoke (October) and it is unclear why.

In 1952 Ted Drake took over as manager and he replaced the pensioner crest with a more business like monogram on a shield. This badge never appeared on the team's shirts. Drake's workmanlike team broke the mould when Chelsea won the League Championship for the first time in 1955.

In 1960 Chelsea added a crest to their shirts for the first time. Inspired by the civic coat of arms of the London Borough of Chelsea, it bore a lion rampant derived from the arms of the club's first president, the Earl of Cadogan.

In 1961, Chelsea were relegated to Division Two but bounced back the following season to embark on their most successful period to date. In March 1964 the team played in blue shorts to match their shirts and white socks. There is evidence that an earlier version was made up in 1962 but rejected as being too radical a change at the time. Chelsea were, incidentally, the first team to play in Division One with numbers on their shorts.

The new look evolved gracefully at the start of the 1964-65 season with white trim added incrementally and a new cypher that replaced the old Cadogan crest, which had been retired in 1963.

The lion motif was revived in 1967 and has remained the centre piece of the club crest ever since.

Throughout the Sixties Chelsea rode high in the League and started to collect cup trophies: the League Cup in 1965 was followed by the FA Cup (1970) and the European Cup-Winners' Cup (1971). In the 1970-71 season, a small image of the FA Cup was embroidered next to the crest while from the 1971-72 season two stars were added to represent these last two famous cup wins.

Nik Yeomans has discovered that Chelsea wore white shorts and black socks with blue and white turnovers at Stoke, Leeds and West Ham in 1973-74. The same strip was worn the following season in two League Cup ties against Stoke. Further research by Nik has revealed these programme notes from February 1974: The reason we wore white shorts. at Leeds last Saturday was . a stocking clash! Because Leeds wear white stockings we changed to black (with coloured top) and as it was felt that a strip of blue shirts, blue socks and black stockings would look too dark, we opted for white shorts. Later that season yellow socks were worn when there was a clash.

In 1975 Chelsea were relegated to Division Two and although they returned four seasons later, in 1979 they went down again. After languishing in Division Two for five seasons, Chelsea were promoted as champions in 1984. After two promising seasons, they went down once more but won the Second Division championship the following season and they have remained in the top flight ever since.

By the mid Eighties the board decided to update their image and a new crest was designed that featured a lion leaping over the letters CFC. This appeared in various forms with the lion rendered in white, red or yellow to match the accent colour for that season.

In 1986-87 Chelsea became the first club to market strips under their own name, the Chelsea Collection. At first these were without a sponsor before Bai Lin Tea, a slimming aid created by Peter Foster briefly appeared in early 1987. The product proved to be bogus and the logo was soon removed: Foster, a career criminal and con artist was arrested and jailed. The shirts were briefly sponsored by Grange Farm, the property of chairman Ken Bates who was fond of telling assembled hacks, "I'm off to my 300 acre farm. You lot can bugger off to your council houses." It appears a logotype was only applied to change shirts. The Italian sportswear company, Simod, took over as sponsor in February 1987. Their logo type appeared in gold for the first game and thereafter was white.

In 1994, Chelsea reached the FA Cup final once again but lost heavily to Manchester United. Chelsea won the FA Cup in 1997, the League Cup in 1998 and the FA Cup once again in 2000. League performances also improved as a succession of high profile managers recruited top foreign stars under the determined and controversial leadership of Ken Bates, who bought the club earlier in the decade.

In 2003, Chelsea's long-standing and controversial chairman, Ken Bates sold the club to Roman Abramovich, a Russian oligarch reputed to be worth between up to £3.8bn. While the origins of Abramovich's wealth may be obscure, there was no doubt about his intentions as over the next few years he poured huge amounts of cash into the club to enable them to sign some of the world's leading players. Indeed, at a time when the global transfer market was in recession, Abramovich's millions bucked the trend, propelling the one time music hall joke into the elite of European football. After the appointment of the charismatic Portuguese manager, Jose Mourinho, Chelsea won the first of back-to-back Premier League titles in 2005, exactly 50 years after their first League title, followed by the FA Cup in 2007.

After that first Premier League title, a new crest was designed for the 2005-06 season. Based on the 1960 design it was introduced for the club's centenary. Some minor variations in the arrangment of the colours have appeared such as in 2012-13.

The following September, after persistent stories in the media concerning Mourinho's relationship with Abramovich, the "Special One" departed and his place was taken by Avram Grant, the Director of Football for the Israeli Football Association. In his first season in charge, Grant steered his expensive team (it was reported that Abramovich's investment amounted to around £750 million in interest-free loans) to within an ace of winning a fabulous double. They finished as runners-up to Manchester United after going into the last round of Premier league matches level on points. Ten days later Chelsea and United clashed again in the UEFA Champions League final, United eventually winning on penalties. These results cost Grant his job and he was replaced by Luiz Felipe Scolari. Scolari was himself sacked in the middle of the 2008-09 season and replaced by Guus Hiddink for the remainder of the season.

Carlo Ancelotti took over at the beginning of the 2009-10 season and took Chelsea to a historic double. Second place in 2011 was not good enough, however, and he too was handed his cards by Mr Abramovich as was his successor, Andre Villas-Boas. It fell to their caretaker manager, Roberto di Matteo, who took over in March 2012, to lead Chelsea to their seventh FA Cup win and an historic UEFA Champions League title, won on penalties in Munich against Bayern Munich.

Rafael Benitez took over from di Matteo but was unpopular with supporters and the club announced that his contract would not be renewed at the end of the season. Even so he steered Chelsea to third place in the Premier League and a dramatic late win over Benfica to secure the Europa League trophy. Jose Mourinho returned in the summer of 2013 as manager and led the club to success in the League Cup in March 2015 followed two months later by the Premier League title.

Following a poor 2015-16 season Chelsea announced that they would be cancelling their agreement with Adidas six years early (incurring a £54m termination fee) in order to pursue a more lucrative deal elsewhere.

Antonio Conte took over as manager in April 2016 and guided Chelsea to their sixth title in his first season in charge.

Destroyer Evolution 1953-1962 - History

When you ponder the history of car seats and look at the dates of when advances actually took place from the creation to acceptance and from the regulation to the legal requirement of usage, you may wonder if it’s because of critics that things took so long.

There always seems to be critics especially when innovations are first developed. Did they question the cost and necessity of the seats? Did they think the car is safe so why would I need additional protection for my child? Later in the history of car seats, did they —like many of us still do— think, “well I survived, my child will too”?

What is the history of car seats?

People designed early car seats simply to lift the child to allow him to look out the window and to keep the child more or less in one spot in the car.

Originally “child seats” started out as nothing more than burlap sacks with a drawstring that hung over the headrest on the passenger’s seat. Later in 1933, Bunny Bear Company produced a seat that was basically a booster seat. The seat propped backseat riders up so parents could keep an eye them. In the 40s, manufacturers released canvas seats on a metal frame that attached to the car’s front seat so the child could get a better view out the windshield, like the one pictured above.

The apparent lack of safety is really not surprising. After all, occupant safety wasn’t in top form in the early days of automobiles. It wasn’t until 1959 that a 3-point seat belt (lap-shoulder belt) was even available in cars.

It took about 30 years before people considered car seats as possible safety devices.

In 1962 two gentlemen designed car seats with the idea of safety in mind. Briton Jean Ames designed a rear-facing seat that featured a Y-strap, similar to today’s models. Len Rivkin, an American from Denver, designed a seat with metal framing.

By 1968 auto manufacturers were getting into the game with the first car seats designed for crash protection. Ford developed the Tot-Guard and General Motors developed the Love Seat for Toddlers, followed quickly by the GM Infant Love Seat (the first rear-facing only restraint). Then there came the Bobby Mac convertible seat.

It took 9 years from the innovation of safety conscious car seats to the beginning of regulations for them.

In 1971 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration adopts the first federal standards, FMVSS213. At the time requirements did not include crash tests but did require use of a safety belt to hold the car seat into the vehicle and a harness to hold the child in the car seat.

It took 17 years from innovation and 8 years from preliminary regulations to the first state law.

1979 saw the first child restraint aka car seat law in Tennessee.

It took another 6 years until all the states had laws.

All states have a law by 1985. But even in 1987 only 80% of children use a car seat.

We understand, innovation precedes regulation. After all people need to invent products before anyone can make up rules about them. The government needs time to create a committee and criteria and discuss it and discuss it some more and send to other people to discuss it before something is written, which probably has to be handed to someone else discuss and finally to someone else to approve. (That’s the way it seems anyway.)

Car seats were obviously around when I was a child, not that I recall ever being in one. I spent a good part of my childhood rolling around the back of a van in a customized bed/table area (the table lowered to make a bed area, great for camping). Of course there was no legal requirement yet, not until I was closer to “booster age”.

Today in the history of car seats

Experts, manufacturers and law makers continue to make improvements.

States have routinely increased the car seat requirements as experts learn better ways of protecting children in the car. Many state car seat laws now require keeping children rear facing until age two. Many also implemented laws to keep older children safer as well.

Download our report: Common Car Seat Mistakes and How to Fix Them

LATCH systems were introduced into vehicles. A new federal regulation required car manufactures to include the complete system in all cars by model year 2003. These are lower anchors and top tether anchor points intended to improve the ease of install and stability of the seat if the car gets into a crash.

Car seats must meet strict federal crash test regulations which also continue to evolve. Child restraints also come with expiration dates and safety recalls are taken seriously.

These days, parents do exhaustive research on car seat options. And many go the extra step of getting their car seats checked for proper installation by a Child Passenger Safety Technician —something unheard of even 25 years ago. (NHTSA, Safe Kids Worldwide and National Child Passenger Safety Board implemented the technician program in 1997.)

But even now we don’t have 100% usage.

Some crashes are unsurvivable. Recent years’ statistics show more than 57% of deaths for children 0-15 were because the child was unrestrained. If (and there’s really no question here) they are so wonderful for keeping our kids safe, why isn’t there 100% usage now and why did it take so long to even get this far? Is it because of critics? Was there some general sentiment that it’s not really needed? That it’s not really safer like all of us experts say?

Correct car seat usage is even lower as still about 75% of car seats are used incorrectly.

Done looking back at the history of car seats, what does the future hold?

Things continue to improve with new standards being developed and innovative new products, including the RideSafer Travel Vest.

And revolutionary products, like the Tummy Shield, are being developed to protect even younger children. Yes, younger, as in unborn babies. There is more to come in child passenger safety in a time of faster and faster technological developments for both car seats and vehicles. It’s exciting to see.

We want to know, have you ever questioned (even just once) the necessity of car seats? Share your comments below.

By Amie Durocher, Creative Director at Safe Ride 4 Kids and certified CPS Tech since 2004

Copyright 2018 Safe Ride 4 Kids. All rights reserved. You may not publish, broadcast, rewrite or redistribute this material without permission. You are welcome to link to Safe Ride 4 Kids or share on social media.

We originally published this post in July 2015. We updated the article for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Scott shuman

If you would like to see some pictures of the seats mentioned above, visit my Pinterest page. http://www.Pinterest.com/vintageseats

That is an amazing collection of old car seats. Thank you for sharing.


Oh wow! Those are scary looking but interesting! Thanks for sharing!

Laura varela

I enjoyed reading this article gave some good information :)


The first car seat is really cool to see what it used to be to now.

Rossana Sierra

In 1978, when I was pregnanth my first child, it was the first time I ever read about booster seats. The article said to buy the ones that could be held by the seat belts. Children were pRop-up Oron a non-restrained booster seat would slide from under the seat belt when the brakes where hit faster than children who only wore seat belts. Therefore, the best options then were seat belts or restrained booster seats.

I’m glad that there are many programs in this era that are working towards making sure that each child has a car seat. My children never had one due to the expense. (In my rules, seat belts were mandatory, as car seats are now for all my grandchildren and friends).

It seemed at that time that public opinion was that car seats where fancy expensive seats for fancy expensive cars, and not for safety concern. Safety was considered as an option and as a sale tag for expensive seats. All parents should be given a car seat. Even if they don’t own a car, at one time or another, they have to get a ride.

My cell phone does not show the pictures on your web site, but I hope you have a picture of my favorite booster seat as a toddler. It was a seat that hung on back seat, and it had a steering wheel in front to play with.

If you permit me to say, please vote. Many safety rules where voted in by people, while others where supported by the person you voted for in your neighborhood as he ascended politically. It starts in your neighborhood.

Thank you Rossana! Your comment brings some historical insight to car seats and how they were viewed even as recent as the 70s.


I understand the safety improvements of carseats, and am thankful for them, especially for infants. It is moreso the laws that are in place, and becoming more and more restrictive as of late that I hold issue with. I have a growing family, and admittedly, not the most modest of incomes, but I do plan on letting my family grow in size. Even with only three children, and a fairly large car, I find it harder, and by these laws alone, more and more expensive to raise my family. Everyone reading this may find this claim odd, but it seems that these laws are being more restrictive to discourage families from having more kids.
I am 30, and if these laws were in place as I grew up, I would have been (almost no matter what state, or even European country) through the middle of high school, due to size and stature, before I would have been able to sit in the front seat, and possibly have just graduated middle school before I would have “graduated” into a regular seatbelt.

I have four young children (6, 6, 3, 1). Some may consider that a large family, some may not.
I respectfully disagree with you regarding the laws making it more expensive for large families. Here are a few reasons why…
– Manufacturers have made car seats available in every price range from as low as $45 for the Cosco Scenera NEXT which will get many kids rear facing until almost 4 years old to seats that rear face to 50+ lbs for under $200. That’s huge! It used to cost well over $200 to keep a child rear facing past 40lbs. And to clarify, non of the new state laws require rear facing to 40lbs. I’m just basing this off of best practice as stated by the AAP.
– Seats like the one I mentioned above, Cosco Scenera NEXT is one of the narrowest and most compact seats on the market making it suitable for three across or other “crowded” vehicle arrangements.
– Booster seats like BubbleBum and Incognito for example make it easy to keep older kids in a booster and yet accommodate everyone safely in the vehicle. They also look less like a “booster seat” for those overly concerned with social pressures of big kids in boosters.

Trust me, I’m all for government leaving us alone and let us raise our children. But what if there was disease that was the leading cause of death for children? We would be screaming at the government to do something about it and protect our children. The reality is, proper use of child restraints does reduce fatality rates against the leading cause of death…motor vehicle accidents. As a child passenger safety technician I’m constantly educating parents on best practice but so many fall back on the laws and assume that if it’s legal, it’s safe. Until laws change, we’re not going to get parents attention. Children don’t have the ability to protect themselves and I believe this is where it is appropriate for the government to step in to protect our future.

And finally…let’s talk more about cost. Let’s say you do what most parents do and buy and infant seat and then a convertible seat for a total cost of $450 (I’m even going to go a bit more towards the higher end of the price range just to make my point). Those two seats will be used for roughly 5 years combined for one child. That averages out to be .25 per day. If you have multiple children and you pass down the seats that number is even less. And if money is tight, you could easily cut that number in half or more by going straight to a convertible seat. In fact, you could buy a long lasting convertible seat for as low as about $85 which for most kids could easily last 5 years bringing that daily cost down to a whopping .04 per day. Yep, less than a nickel a day. And since I’m on a numbers kick, lets throw in a booster seat. So now we’re at $450 + $50 (again, going mid/high on this one too) so $500 for 10 years of safety for your child. That comes in at just under .14 per day (or closer to .03 if we go super budget friendly like I mentioned). That number drops even lower when you look at the fact that you can pass your seats down to your younger children (assuming they aren’t expired, damaged, etc).

What would it cost for your child to spend just one night in the hospital after sustaining injuries from a motor vehicle accident? What if those injuries that could have been prevented by using the proper child restraint? What would you be willing to pay for that?

What do you pay for “luxuries” in your daily life…Starbucks coffee? The latest iPhone? More than .14/day? See my point? I’m not trying to make light of finances. Kids are expensive. But there are far better ways to save money on raising children than by cutting back on life saving devices like child restraints.

Furthermore, the proposed laws aren’t even up to the best practice recommendations backed by science. My children are maximums, not minimums. Frankly I don’t care what the laws say…even the strictest child passenger laws in the country aren’t enough protection for my child.

Knickerbocker Rule Changes

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The Discovery of DNA's Structure

Taken in 1952, this image is the first X-ray picture of DNA, which led to the discovery of its molecular structure by Watson and Crick. Created by Rosalind Franklin using a technique called X-ray crystallography, it revealed the helical shape of the DNA molecule. Watson and Crick realized that DNA was made up of two chains of nucleotide pairs that encode the genetic information for all living things.

Credits: Photo of Rosalind Franklin courtesy of Vittorio Luzzati. Photo of x-ray crystallography (Exposure 51) courtesy of King's College Archives. King's College London.

Topics Covered:
Evolution Since Darwin

They were hardly modest, these two brash young scientists who in 1953 declared to patrons of the Eagle Pub in Cambridge, England, that they had "found the secret of life." But James Watson and Francis Crick's claim was a valid one, for they had in fact discovered the structure of DNA, the chemical that encodes instructions for building and replicating almost all living things. The stunning find made possible the era of "new biology" that led to the biotechnology industry and, most recently, the deciphering of the human genetic blueprint.

Watson and Crick's discovery didn't come out of the blue. As early as 1943 Oswald Avery proved what had been suspected: that DNA, a nucleic acid, carries genetic information. But no one knew how it worked.

By the early 1950s, at least two groups were hot on the trail. Crick, a British graduate student, and Watson, an American research fellow, were in the hunt at Cambridge University.

At King's College in London, Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins were studying DNA. Wilkins and Franklin used X-ray diffraction as their main tool -- beaming X-rays through the molecule yielded a shadow picture of the molecule's structure, by how the X-rays bounced off its component parts.

Franklin, a shy and inward young woman, suffered from patronizing attitudes and sexism that forced her to do much of her work alone. And her senior partner, Wilkins, showed some of Franklin's findings to Watson in January 1953 without her knowledge.

Referring to Franklin's X-ray image known as "Exposure 51," James Watson is reported to have said, "The instant I saw the picture, my mouth fell open and my pulse began to race." Shortly after, Watson and Crick made a crucial advance when they proposed that the DNA molecule was made up of two chains of nucleotides paired in such a way to form a double helix, like a spiral staircase. This structure, announced in their famous paper in the April 1953 issue of Nature, explained how the DNA molecule could replicate itself during cell division, enabling organisms to reproduce themselves with amazing accuracy except for occasional mutations.

For their work, Watson, Crick, and Wilkins received the Nobel Prize in 1962. Despite her contribution to the discovery of DNA's helical structure, Rosalind Franklin was not named a prize winner: She had died of cancer four years earlier, at the age of 37.

1950s Inventions

For those of you born within the last two decades, your experience with science and technology is unique with respect to the speed and frequency of inventions and innovations. But it wasn’t always so.

We may have thought there were great new things, like colored kitchen appliances and transistor radios, but we could not have anticipated the PC, cellphones, DVDs or the like. We thought it was cool when 78 rpm (rotations per minute) records became 33s. We were astonished when records could be heard in stereo.

Here’s a list of some of the major inventions and innovations of the Fifties.

Zenith introduces “lazy bones” tuning – change all television stations from the comfort of your easy chair. Hand held device plugs into TV

Antihistamines enter popular use for treatment of allergies and head-colds.

Leo Fender’s guitar company introduced their Broadcaster and Esquire models, the first mass-produced solid body electric guitars.

Telephone Answering Machine created by Bell Laboratories and Western Electric.

UNIVAC First commercial computer.

A.E.C. (Atomic Energy Commission) produces electricity from atomic energy.

American automobile manufacturer Chrysler Corporation introduces power steering., which they called Hydraguide.

Charles Ginsburg invented the first videotape recorder (VTR).

J. Andre-Thomas invents the first heart-lung machine, allowing advanced life-support during open-heart surgery.

Still camera gets built-in flash units.

The first patent for bar code (US Patent #2,612,994) issued to inventors Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver

Sony, a brand new Japanese company, introduces the first pocket-sized transistor radio

The first musical synthesizer invented by RCA

The first 3-D movie is shown: Arch Oboler’s Bwana Devil, starring Robert Stack. Learn More

Francis Crick and James Watson discover the “double helix” of DNA.

Dr. Jonas Salk announces discovery of the vaccine for poliomyelitis

White Rose Redi-tea is the world’s first instant iced tea

Dow Chemical creates Saran Wrap

TV color broadcasting began in 1953

The first nonstick pan produced.

The solar cell invented by Chaplin, Fuller and Pearson.

The first successful kidney transplant is performed in the U.S. by Harvard physicians. The patient will survive for seven more years.

General Electric introduces colored kitchen appliances. Bye, bye white!

Zenith engineer Eugene Polley invented the “Flashmatic,” which represented the industry’s first wireless TV remote.

Gregory Pincus develops the first oral contraceptive

The first home microwave ovens are manufactured by Tappan. They cost $1300 which really slows sales!

The first computer hard disk used.

The hovercraft invented by Christopher Cockerell.

As a result of the joint research of Sherman and Smith, the Scotchgard™ Protector was launched in the marketplace

Secretary Bette Nesmith Graham invented “Mistake Out” later renamed, Liquid Paper

Los Alamos Laboratory discovers the neutrino, an atomic particle with no electric charge.

Anti-protons detected in the atmosphere.

The first commercial videotape recorder is introduced. The device is intended for industrial applications, and it quickly revolutionizes the way television programming is produced.

Fortran (computer language) invented.

Velcro is patented by George de Mestral of Switzerland.

Eveready produces “AA” size alkaline batteries

Earl Bakken develops the first external, battery-operated, transistorized, wearable artificial pacemaker

The Hula Hoop invented by Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin.

The integrated circuit invented by Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce.

Sterophonic recordings, which use two separately recorded channels of sound to recreate a sense of space, come into commercial use.

The internal pacemaker invented by Wilson Greatbatch. In 1959

Joseph-Armand Bombardier of Valcourt, Quebec, Canada patented the Ski-Doo, originally christened the Ski-Dog, but renamed because of a typographical error that Bombardier decided not to change. You know it as a snowmobile.

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