10 YEARS AGO — 2001
Hangin’ with Mini Cooper: The first new product from the company since 1959, the Mini Cooper’s transverse engine with a submounted gearbox maximizes interior space. The car is 18-in. longer and 14-in. wider than the original. A, B, and C pillars “hide” behind the glass, giving the appearance of a continuous window wrapping around the car.

A 1.6-liter engine produces 115 hp. A supercharged Mini Cooper S will provide 160 hp. The suspension features a multilink rear setup. A stiff body is said to give two to three times the torsional stiffness of cars the same size. For safety, the Mini boasts front and rear crumple zones and side-impact door beams, as well as front and side air bags.

30 YEARS AGO — 1981
New urethane chosen for helmet padding: A new grade of Poron cellular urethane from Rogers Corp. has been chosen by Riddell Inc. to provide dependable protection for young athletes. Poron 4702-02 was chosen because it provides the same quality of protection from helmet to helmet. The material also performed well under two energy-absorption tests. Riddell uses 5/8-in. Poron and a low-density urethane “fit” foam that adheres to the contours of the head. The cellular urethane is die cut into pieces that are placed in a polyethylene packet, which is clamped in the football helmet. The helmet is lined with 32 packets, each containing cellular urethane and “fit” foam.

50 YEARS AGO — 1961
An audio-type “seeing” aid for frogmen working under zero-visibility conditions combines light weight with economical operation. It is a 20-lb, aluminum-housed sonar device developed by Stromberg-Carlson-San Diego and the Navy Electronics Laboratory. The fully transistorized system is powered by standard flashlight batteries.

© 2011 Penton Media, Inc.