Interesting look at tests on early car seat belts and industrial safety harnesses.
M/S of a girl sitting on a car seat on a test rig outside, being strapped into her safety belt by a man. The seat belt is referred to as a harness, and has straps for both arms, holding the girl snugly against the seat, plus one over her waist. Commentator says these harnesses would save some 700 lives and prevent 50,000 injuries annually (this is presumably before seat belts were made standard in cars) and informs us we are at the British Standards Institution at Hemel Hempstead (Hertfordshire). The man works a lever to gradually bring the girl back to the end of the rig. C/U of the girl in the seat moving backwards in jerky movements.
The seat is then released and rushes forward at a seemingly tremendous speed; although commentator tells us the rig is simulating a car stopping suddenly at only eight miles an hour. The girl is jerked forward as the seat reaches the end of the rig, but seems well enough and manages a smile.
A man is seen inside the Institute at a Tensile Test machine, which measures the strength of the seat belts. The belt is stretched between two metal bars while a meter to the left gives pressure information. C/Us of the meter and the man measuring the belt with callipers and a ruler. The belt is carried through to destruction point; as the meter reaches 5,600 lbs the belt snaps; the man examines the frayed ends of the belt.
M/S and C/U as a man testing the belt on a large contraption to check for ease of buckle release when pressure is exerted. Again, the belt is tested to destruction point. C/U of a dummy man (not crash test dummy as we know him) in overalls, strapped into an industrial safety harness, "such as those worn by window cleaners and spidermen" says the commentator (spidermen?! Does he mean steeplejacks or super heroes?). The dummy is hoisted to a height of 6 ft then dropped to test the stability of the harness. A man comes into shot and examines the harness.
Note: on file is correspondence from the British Standards Institution PR Officer and a photo and article from the Daily Sketch about the seat belt test rig. Cuts exist - see separate record.