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Seat Belt History

Seat Belt History


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The legacy of the seat belt

The seat belt has become a key part of our lives, a strap of nylon webbing that has saved many lives in the years since they've been embedded into the mainstream.

The fabric that seat belts are made out of is called webbing, referring to the weaving process. Often made of synthetic materia...

The design of seat belts has directly inspired the designs of other products.

The modern seat belt invented over 100 years ago had inspiration from the defence industry, which tested different harnesses and other structures during WWII.

Interesting facts about seat belts

  1. The concept of the seat belt predates the automobile. The idea originated in 1840 when Sir George Cayley wrote about a safety mechanism for trains and suggested a "broad padded belt to be placed in front of each passenger."
  2. Why your seat belt always gets stuc...

The seatbelt patent was given away

Swedish inventor Nils Bohlin came up with the three-point seat belt which secures your waist and chest with a stretching belt mechanism that pulls out just as much slack as the passenger needs.

The two-point seat belt, which went across your lap, was imperfect, especially in independently a...

  • In 1955, Ford offered seat belts as a part of a safety campaign in its vehicles. It was a novel option at the time.
  • But Ford was also competing against General Motors, which focused on traditional concerns such as speed.
  • Speed won, and Ford executives blamed their declining s...

The seat belt is an important innovation

It highlights the value of creating consistent standards for the common good. 

However, there's always room for innovation. For example, a Ford patent for a heated seat belt raised eyebrows in the automotive world.

The patent discusses adding a heating mechanism to th...

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