Re: "... anti-stall – sorry, plane pedants hate it when we call it that..."
737 was designed to go to more airports than earlier jets. Small regional airports without facilities, they had built in boarding steps.
The airports without facilities needed to be able to load the baggage, so the 737 was given short legs, low to the ground.
This was fine with early turbojets but later fanjets got too close to the ground and had to have a flattened off cowling bottom. The turbofans got bigger to be more efficient and 737 needed an airframe configuration change with the way the engines were mounted on the wings. Because the certification could accommodate this better than a longer undercarriage ground clearance. So Boeing came up with their tape-lashup solution and people died.