Mystery History – Solved!


MysteryHistory 092011a



Here are the reader guesses this week to this photo:

Irina believes it’s Rose Parade related & the car is parked in front of the Wrigley Mansion on Orange Grove.

East of Allen believes the driver is a medical physician – Dr. Sheldon of Huntington Hospital – “showing off” a seat belt he invented.

Justin de Pulled Porker doesn’t say who the driver is but believes East of Allen is right about the seatbelt, or that it’s the first seatbelt on a Pasadena squad car.

And Petrea thinks East of Allen (EoA) sounds like a good guess.


Ok, the envelope please…

Who is the driver? Well, it’s the Pasadena Chief of Police, of course!  I believe his name was Clarence Morris.

The year is 1951.

What’s happening? The Chief is seated in a Police Interceptor, or police car, or squad car, black N white, or, whatever they were calling them half-century ago!   He is “showing off” safety belts installed for testing purposes on a police vehicle. Presumably the testing went well, since Pasadena police would later install seat belts in their vehicles.

EoA of Allen said the driver was “Dr. Sheldon of Huntington Hosp.”  While that is incorrect, Dr. C. Hunter Sheldon was a physician (neurologist) at the Huntington. His medical experience treating vehicle injuries launched his studies into vehicle safety. A few of his safety ideas included retractable seat belts, passive restraints, and reinforced roofs. Congress would later use his findings to write new safety legislation.

Safety belts were first invented in the 19th century by an engineer, aka Sir George Cayley. Since that initial primitive invention several people, including Dr. Sheldon, left their marks on improving the device. But I don’t know if the belt worn by the Chief in this picture is as EoA claims, Dr. Sheldon’s “belt he invented.”

So “the winner” is, imho, a split decision: I’m dividing the fabulous prize between East of Allen & The Pulled Porker.  Congratulations!



Btw, Click It or Ticket!  Stay Thirsty My Friends


7 responses to “Mystery History – Solved!

  1. I recognized a police car but never would have made the guess about the seatbelt connection if not for East of Allen, so I gladly defer my half of the prize.

    • Thks, PB, but becuz of the lack of interest shown for these posts I decided to save me some time. And so my research on this one was far from excellent – “just the basics, ma’am!”

    • SC, next time look for the clues. And it also looks like you’re looking for dog adopters to visit your FBk page.

      IN, it’s not so quick & easy – unlike when I poke you.