Roll-a-Belt Seat Belt


Borg-Warner produced this “Roll-a-Belt” seat belt reel during the early 1960s. The “Roll-a-Belt” was an automatic seat belt retractor. When the belt is unbuckled, a spring exerts a three-pound pull and retracts the belt 16 inches. When seat belts were first introduced to vehicles drivers often found them unwieldy, leading to disuse. With the roll-a-belt, Borg-Warner wanted to make seat belts so easy to use that they actually got used.

As more people began to drive and cars became faster, injury and fatality became a concern for the public and government. In the 1950s a driver could purchase and install a seat belt. The Government began the Buckle Up for Safe campaign to try to get people to use seatbelts, which, by then, had become standard features in automobiles. Still, legislation needed to be passed to enforce usage of the restraints.

Date Made: ca 1965Used Date: 1960-Present

Maker: Borg-Warner Corporation

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Work and Industry: Transportation, Road, America on the Move, Transportation


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1984.0570.02Catalog Number: 1984.0570.02Accession Number: 1984.0570

Object Name: Seat Belt ReelsOther Terms: Seat Belt Reels; Road

Measurements: overall: 8 1/2 in x 4 in x 1 in; 21.59 cm x 10.16 cm x 2.54 cm


Record Id: nmah_844524

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