Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Appreciation Week: Seat Belts

Hey, 50 years ago today a Minnesota engineer named James Ryan filed a patent for the retractable seat belt.

Which reminded me how much I love seat belts. I'm not sure which car of my childhood was the first to have them. I know we used to fit six kids in the backseat of my mom's widetrack Pontiac in the later years of the '60s, alternating every other kid sitting all the way back in the seat with the next kid sitting on the edge. So that car may not have had belts, or else we weren't using them.

I also remember this public service ad (from the early '70s) pretty distinctly, especially the part where the woman says, "Besides, they wrinkle my dress":

That ad had an effect on my 11- or 12-year-old mind, and I've been pretty conscientious about seat belts ever since. There's no way of estimating how many lives they've saved.

Retractable seat belt reminder via TPT Almanac (a Twin Cities public television news and affairs show).

1 comment:

Ms Sparrow said...

They got Jack Webb to narrate to reinforce the message!