1950s Car Seat Belts

Although seat belts are nearly as old as autos themselves, it wasn’t until the mid-1950s that carmakers began installing these primary safety devices in U.S. cars. The first belts were made from tightly woven nylon plastic that was affordable, very strong, and reasonably flexible. In the early 1970s, when federal regulators mandated three-point seat belts, carmakers moved to another plastic: industrial strength polyester, which made the belts lighter and more comfortable.