10 YEARS AGO — 2000
Devil of a connector: By combining several valve and internal hose connections into one product, Colder Products Co., St. Paul, Minn., was able to help simplify the water/soap distribution system in Cleveland-based Royal Appliance Mfg. Co.’s Dirt Devil Easy Steamer deep cleaner. The original product had separate water/soap distribution valve and connector hose fittings as well as connector hoses and clamps.

30 YEARS AGO — 1980
Solder loaded into cordless gun: Soldering electrical connections is now a one-hand job with the new rechargeable Iso-Tip Cordless Soldering Gun from Wahl Clipper Corp., Sterling, Ill. From a supply chamber at the rear of the gun, 0.062-in. solder is channeled through a tube to the tip when the trigger is fully depressed. Up to 125 electronic joints can be soldered on a single charge; the gun recharges in 4 hr. Cycolac-brand ABS engineering thermoplastic, Grade T from Borg-Warner Chemicals was used for the injection-molded gun case to provide it with high impact resistance.

50 YEARS AGO — 1960
Renault gives Caravelle new suspension: Air bags and rubber pads supplement conventional coil springs and shock absorbers in Renault’s classy Caravelle. Their action gives the rear-engine (water-cooled) import virtually uniform riding qualities regardless of passenger payload. Air bags (air is contained at atmospheric pressure) augment the rear springing; rubber pads surround the front shock-absorber rods. Flexibility of these components decreases rapidly as the load increases to keep the entire suspension system “in tune” with the load.