Stuff they could have invented a long time ago, but didn't

Thoughtfree

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In train station scenes in movies from the 30s and 40s, you see people carrying suitcases. Why didn't they use rolling bags with telescoping handles? Technology was advanced enough to have produced them in 1900 or earlier. But nobody thought of this!

Other examples of stuff they could have invented, but didn't? Maybe plastic cable ties, my favorite innovation of the last 40 years?
 

StoneH

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Grounded house wiring not only existed 60 years ago, it was used in kitchens and laundry rooms (probably required by code). Why not do the whole house? Cost shouldn't have been much of a factor. Were items that needed a ground rarely found outside of the kitchen?

Bonus trivia:

- The grounded wiring in my remodel uses 12 gauge wire, but the ground wire itself is only 22 or 24 gauge.
- An outlet checker with a GFI checking function will not trip a GFI in an ungrounded circuit.
-- My newly installed GFIs "Failed" inspection. I immediately thought of the ungrounded circuits, and googled it.
GFI checkers short to ground through a resistor to trip the GFI . . . no ground; no trip.
 
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nojazzhere

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In train station scenes in movies from the 30s and 40s, you see people carrying suitcases. Why didn't they use rolling bags with telescoping handles? Technology was advanced enough to have produced them in 1900 or earlier. But nobody thought of this!

Other examples of stuff they could have invented, but didn't? Maybe plastic cable ties, my favorite innovation of the last 40 years?
Lots of innovations in automobiles were "thought of" ages ago, but the car makers fought to exclude them until forced to by legal mandates. I suspect that the actual manufacturing processes for some items had to catch up to the concepts of new items.
Also....remember plastic wasn't much of a thing until Dustin Hoffman was "tipped off" about it in The Graduate. ;)
 

That Cal Webway

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They couldn't use wheels back then- especially in those large train stations like New York's Grand Central station.

In the 20's and 30's there were flash mobs of tap dancers,
and with the rolling suitcases and such, that would compete with the rhythmic sounds of the tap dancing.

The More You Know!
.
 

Buzzgrowl

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In train station scenes in movies from the 30s and 40s, you see people carrying suitcases. Why didn't they use rolling bags with telescoping handles? Technology was advanced enough to have produced them in 1900 or earlier. But nobody thought of this!

Other examples of stuff they could have invented, but didn't? Maybe plastic cable ties, my favorite innovation of the last 40 years?
Those were invented when distances between airport gates became long.
 

Sconnie

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Rolling suitcases are simply the worst, people back then had the common decency not to impede everyone around them for their own minor convenience. Pick up your stuff and get moving!

My contribution would be car cupholders. My first car was a 1990 Nissan Pathfinder, which had zero cupholders. Did modest to-go cups of coffee not exist in 1990? If they didn't then that's two point for me in this thread already!
 

bottlenecker

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In train station scenes in movies from the 30s and 40s, you see people carrying suitcases. Why didn't they use rolling bags with telescoping handles? Technology was advanced enough to have produced them in 1900 or earlier. But nobody thought of this!

Other examples of stuff they could have invented, but didn't? Maybe plastic cable ties, my favorite innovation of the last 40 years?

Everything that's ever been invented could have been invented earlier, but wasn't.
 

SRHmusic

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... My contribution would be car cupholders. My first car was a 1990 Nissan Pathfinder, which had zero cupholders. Did modest to-go cups of coffee not exist in 1990? If they didn't then that's two point for me in this thread already!
My dad traveled for work, driving all over three states in an industrial sales job. He had all sorts of different add on cup holders over the years in the 1970s and 80s. I recall an early plastic commuter cup that had a little base "puck" that he glued to the top of the dash(!), and the cup would click into it. Edit- He was usually taking coffee from home, but you could get little styrofoam cups to go with the thin lid. I think it was Wendy's or Bob Evans that had the first plastic commuter cup he had.
 
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nojazzhere

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Rolling suitcases are simply the worst, people back then had the common decency not to impede everyone around them for their own minor convenience. Pick up your stuff and get moving!

My contribution would be car cupholders. My first car was a 1990 Nissan Pathfinder, which had zero cupholders. Did modest to-go cups of coffee not exist in 1990? If they didn't then that's two point for me in this thread already!
Which came first.....the car cupholder, or the sticky/gooey film all over the dash, door handles and seats from spilled drinks?
Take one guess. ;)
 

W.L.Weller

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In train station scenes in movies from the 30s and 40s, you see people carrying suitcases. Why didn't they use rolling bags with telescoping handles?
Tiny wheels need extremely smooth, clean (by the standards of human history) surfaces to be useful. Try your rolling suitcase on cobblestones or a dirt road, then report back.
 

telemnemonics

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Cars that don’t rust. Paint that sticks to metal (I’m looking at you GM).

Looking at you entire auto industry.
Right, in Maine we have low cash flow, shade tree mechanics, junkyard parts, and salted snowy roads.
Toyota and Nissan rust out and crumble long before the drivetrain is bad.
Subaru needs major engine repair long before rust starts.
Volvo still has no rust and good paint long after 15-20 years uses up drivetrain and the 700 sensors in the electrical system.
GM is average while MoPar seems to win the race to rust and Ford lags behind a little.
 
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