person opening glove box

How did the glove compartment get its name?

The History of the Glove Compartment

Known by names like cubby-hole, cubby, and jockey box, this feature is a staple on every single vehicle on sale in the US. Here at Hall Mazda near Milwaukee (and in many other places), we call it the glove compartment or glove box. But why do we call it that?

Today, we’ll show you how the glove compartment got its name.



man has an idea

How the Glove Compartment Got Its Name

Unlike many other automotive things, the glove compartment is straightforward. It is named after its purpose: to store gloves. However, in a world full of closed cabins, remote start, automatic climate control, and heated steering wheels, gloves aren’t a necessity. The name is a holdover from the original automobiles in the early 20th century. Most of those horseless carriages didn’t have a roof (and if they did, it was likely a soft top that didn’t insulate very well) or a heating system of any kind. Thus, wind and cold temperatures made driving in cold or inclement weather uncomfortable or even impossible. People wore driving gloves to avoid this. As driving gloves became commonplace, auto manufacturers started including a compartment to store them in.

Interestingly, most glove boxes since the early 2000s do not have an internal light. However, for vehicles made before then, a glove box light that turned on whenever the glove compartment was opened (like your refrigerator does) was a standard feature.


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If you’re considering buying a new Mazda vehicle, then Hall Mazda near Milwaukee is just the place. You can check out our New Mazda Specials page and Current Mazda Incentives pages to find deals on new Mazda vehicles. If you need any help or have any questions, feel free to give us a call.