Clear Plastic Seat Covers

Clear covers on the back seat

It was a thick, clear plastic material that had raised triangular bumps all over it (I guess to provide traction for the slippery stuff), or also seen smooth, as in the picture. It was seen on automobile seats, couches, chairs, and nearly anything else that could possibly come into contact with the human derrière.

In the 1960’s, it was everywhere.

I remember my parents taking one of their biannually-bought new Plymouths in to have this stuff put on the spacious bench seats. When mom and I went to pick up the car, we had to drive with the windows down due to the endless square yards of extremely redolent new plastic wrap.

The polyethylene artificial epidermis was ice cold in the winter, blazing hot in the summer, and quite uncomfortable to bare skin in any weather. However, it kept the upholstery, cocooned a millimeter of so beneath its surface, immaculate.

I’m still not sure why my parents would go to all that trouble to protect the already plastic seats of a car they were going to trade in in a couple of years anyway. But at least they resisted the temptation to cover the couch.

We had friends we would frequently visit in my hometown who had their furniture encased in this stuff. And while the couch no doubt looked the way it did when new, you couldn’t tell, as the plastic wrap provided a diffused view of the original upholstery.

Perhaps it was installed as a safeguard against guests who might stay too late.

Anyhow, one of the memories we enjoy as Baby Boomers was vast square footage of upholstery safely wrapped in clear plastic coverings.

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