Retractable Leash: The Fantastic Made Ordinary

In the January 1941 edition of Popular Science a fantastical invention was profiled:

A leash attached to a spring-operated reel is a new wrinkle for dog owners. Encased in a light but sturdy aluminum housing, the reel carries twelve feet of waterproofed leash strong enough to hold a great Dane yet light enough for use with a Pekinese. A hook forming part of the housing allows the owner to hold the device securely, while the dog is free to run for a distance of twelve feet. As he returns nearer to his owner, the spring reel winds up the leash cord to prevent it from becoming tangled. A button-con-trolled lock makes it easy to stop the dog at any time as he is running out the leash, and to keep him in hand.

What a difference 70 years makes. Amazon sells 801 different retractable leashes, including ones with built in flashlights.

What’s fantastical today that will be commonplace in 70 years?


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