In the late 1930s Mr. Robert Bourdillon of Frognal Lane, Hampstead, London, constructed a unique solution to the problem of parking the family car.
As demonstrated here in 1938 by Harriet Bourdillon, on arriving home the car was driven onto a concrete slab and, at the touch of a button, the slab and car descended into a watertight concrete pit into the driveway. A roof over the structure then formed part of the front garden. Another button-press raised the car to street level, ready for use.
Robert Benedict Bourdillon was an Oxford scholar and a founder member of the University's mountaineering club. Together with his son Tom and another partner, he would develop the oxygen system used on the successful Everest expedition of 1953.
Text and curation: Amanda Uren
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