the unlikely origins of the rearview mirror

Ever have a moment while sitting in your car and wonder “who invented the rearview mirror?” Well this week’s video not only tells you who the inventor was, but also the real reason he invented it—and it’s not for the reason you’d think. The first instance that a rearview mirror was used was back in 1911 and it was a race car driver who used it after he saw it on a horse and buggy. His idea was that using the mirror would allow him to travel faster, because in those times they actually had a mechanic ride with them and it was the mechanic’s job to let the driver know when it was safe to pass.

The race car driver figured he would go much faster without the weight of the mechanic in his vehicle, and he was most certainly right! He won that Indy race, but the rearview mirror did not catch on until 10 years later when an engineer, who loved to drive fast, came up with the idea to use the mirror to spot cops following him. He dubbed it “The Cop Spotter”. I will never look at my rearview mirror the same again!