Sunday, June 15, 2008

Roll-a-Boards: Why Did It Take So Long to Invent Them?

Now that we're all lugging all of those bags, I've always wondered:

Why in the world did it take so long for someone in the luggage industry to figure out to employ a wheel, which strikes me as a brilliant, if somewhat early, innovation. Why did it take so long to invent the roll-a-board?

I remember a time not very long ago (I mean the 70s and 80s) when you had to pick a suitcase up to lug the sucker around -- and if you had several, it was a misery and a curse.

So the following question comes from my and my wife's great and good friend, Kim Scott, our horseriding pal from memorable, rain-sodden treks with the legendary Willy Leahy in privative Connemara, Ireland.

Anyway, Kim is a firefighter in Breckenridge, Colo. She and her husband Bryon and their two beautiful babies live at what, to me, is the astonishing altitude of 11,500 feet -- though I am writing this from Tucson where my thermometer this afternoon said 111 degrees at 3 p.m -- which Kim would consider equally astonishing.

So here is Kim's question, which evidently has been passed along in e-mails:

"Why is it that we put a man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?"

I have heard tell that the idea for the perfectly obvious idea of wheels on luggage came from ... flight attendants.


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