Glove compartments are not found in every car on the market, as modern vehicle designers have been removing the glove box from the designs of their vehicles. However, the vast majority of cars on the road as of 2015 have a glove compartment, with the compartment being considered standard as far back as the turn of the 20th century, when cars were still called horseless carriages.
The glove box is a feature originally designed for providing a weatherproof solution to storing various objects within the dashboard of the car. This purpose has not changed over the years, with most drivers using it as a way to store important items such as extra keys to other vehicles or valuable documents. The glove box became standard to cars and similar vehicles in the 1930s, when vehicle storage became a significant part of the design.
Some believe that the glove compartment received its name from older models of vehicles that did not have windshields or other protections from the elements. Driving a car back then was an outdoor activity, and required drivers to wear hats, scarves, goggles and gloves to avoid getting their eyes and hair covered in dust during a drive. Since then, driving gloves have become less about protecting the hands or steering wheel; rather, they are intended to perfect the feel of driving the car.