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America on the Move
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Theft warning auto lock

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Theft warning auto lock
Smithsonian Institution, Photo by Richard Strauss, Negative #: 2003-19267


This object appears in the following sections:

Americans Adopt the Auto:
Americans Adopt the Auto — Fixing Cars

Safety Reflector

Theft Warning Auto Lock
Catalog #: 1979.0687.04, Accession #: 1979.0687
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
This device locked on the tire and rim of an automobile. It was made by the Theft Warning Auto-Lock Corp., Box 713, Los Angeles, CA. Serial B-2380.
Physical Description
artifact 11" x 6 1/2" x 7 1/2"; Sargent lock (key missing.) Klaxon horn blows when car is moved.
Date Made:
about 1915
Gift of Don H. Berkebile

Many people thought that cars, as the dealer sold them, were inefficient or lacked much-needed accessories. Model T owners sent the Ford Motor Company ideas for improvements, and hundreds of mail-order gadgets and attachments allowed owners to upgrade the Model T or make it work better. Inventors fashioned devices that claimed to make cars safer, more fuel-efficient, or easier to use. Some of these devices later became standard features on cars. Others remained popular add-on items, and still others failed to catch on.

Related People, Places, and Events
Don H. Berkebile
Donor worked for the National Museum of American History. He donated this artifact in June 1979

Place of Manufacture
Los Angeles

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