Did You Know: A Blind Invented Cruise Control

Ralph Teetor, a prolific (and blind) inventor, invented cruise control.  Teetor spent his whole life inventing things to make cars better. Teetor was blinded in a shop accident at age five, but his disability couldn’t stop his endeavor to make cars better and in contrast Teetor’s blindness actually improved his ability to invent new things.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Pennsylvania. His first job after post-graduation was to develop technology for steam turbine rotors used in torpedo used in torpedo boat destroyers during W.W.I.  Later Teetor became an mechanical engineer for the Light Inspection Car Company, a company founded by his family that later was renamed the Perfect Circle Corporation. The company provided piston rings to car companies such as Packard, General Motors, Chrysler and Studebaker. He soon became the Vice President of Engineering for Perfect Circle and later the President.
Story of Invention :

Ralph Teetor, was inspired to invent cruise control one day while riding with his lawyer. The lawyer would slow down while talking and speed up while listening. This rocking motion so annoyed Teetor that he was determined to invent a speed control device. Cruise control debuted in 1958 on the Chrysler Imperial, New Yorker and Windsor models.

In 1945, Ralph Teetor received his first patent on a speed cruise control device. Early names for his invention included “Controlmatic”, “Touchomatic”, “Pressomatic” and “Speedostat” and finally the familiar name of “Cruise Control”.

In case you don’t know what cruise control does-

Cruise control keeps the speed of the vehicle at a constant and once engaged the vehicle will maintain said speed.

For example: If you’re going 100kms an hour and you hit cruise control, the car will keep traveling 100kms an hour unless cruise control is switched off or the driver hits either the accelerator or the brakes.

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Petrol-head. Auto Enthusiast. Upcoming Engineer. Aspiring Blogger. Co-Founder, AutoSpace. Space Geek. Weapon Lover.