Guided Primary Source Analysis: Cornell-Liberty Safety Car

Cornell-Liberty Safety Car
Raymond Loewy (1893-1986) Preliminary design for Cornell-Liberty Safety Car (designed for the Cornell Aeronautical Research Laboratory and the Liberty Mutual Life Insurance Company). Graphite, colored pencil, and ink drawing, September 11, 1956. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division. Curator description: Drawing on his extensive experience in the design and operation of the automobile, Loewy succinctly sketched the basic elements of this “safety car” design for Cornell University, in order to arrive at a design solution that was both attractive and secure.

Look closely at the drawing and use a magnifying glass to decipher the notes. What did you learn? What safety features are recommended?

Use the two articles linked to below to create a Brief History of Motor Vehicle Safety in the United States; you may choose to write an article or develop a timeline, infographic, or illustrated panel story.

Describe and explain a few safety features that you would recommend for a car today. Be sure to include your reasoning for implementing these.

What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let us know!