This, believe it or not, is a car seat for children. It was the definition of car safety during the 1930s. But given that even seatbelts were not standard back then (and would not be for years to come), it shouldn't be surprising that car safety for children took a while to develop.
Country Living magazine offers a timeline with photos showing the development of car seats, from simple affairs like this one to high-tech wonders that have been carefully engineered.
-via Nag on the Lake