In 1970, an American luggage executive unscrewed four castors from a wardrobe and fixed them to a piece of luggage which he was able to pull around on a strap – and so the rolling suitcase was created.

This was, of course, one year after the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Ever since, students of human behaviour – and the odd stand-up comedian – have pondered how mankind was able to land a man on the Moon before anyone thought of putting wheels on a suitcase.

Recently I read of research which found the issue was not that people were blind to obvious solutions, but that social attitudes – in this case, their fragile masculinity – made them reluctant to see the benefits.

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Of course wheeled suitcases existed before 1970, but they were always seen as novelties for weak and delicate women. As such there was no market, since women never travelled alone – their husbands carried their bags for them.

It was only as society changed, women grew more independent and men relaxed their ideas that the wheeled suitcase finally caught on. Now, of course, they’re everywhere.

I think of them – and hostile attitudes to progress – whenever someone tells me battery-powered tools have no place in forestry (as someone did quite recently). I’ve been told we shouldn’t feature electric chainsaws in the magazine at all – not if we want to be taken seriously as a publication for forestry professionals.

Forestry Journal: Husqvarna recently launched the world's first electric chainsaw with a clutchHusqvarna recently launched the world's first electric chainsaw with a clutch (Image: PR)

I’m not so sure. Whatever the merits of the current crop, it seems clear to me electric chainsaws will one day be the dominant force in forestry, along with electric 4x4s, electric timber trucks and even, eventually, electric harvesters. Obviously, this will take some time, but it will take a lot longer if we allow our own prejudices to make us resistant to technological advancement.

Having said all that, I never bother with wheeled suitcases myself. Not sure why. I think I just find them a bit emasculating.

This article originally featured as John McNee's Letter from the Editor in May's Forestry Journal.