Ralph Teetor (Aug 17, 1890): The Blind Inventor of Cruise Control
Teetor was blinded at age five in an accident, but graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1912. His highly developed sense of touch proved helpful in developing a technique for balancing steam turbine rotors used in torpedo-boat destroyers, as part of the American war effort. Dynamic balancing of large components had puzzled others before Teetor solved the problem.
One day, Teetor was traveling in a car with his lawyer, who 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. In 1945, after ten years of tinkering, he received his first patent on such a device, which didn’t come into mainstream use until Chrysler introduced it in 1958.
Teetor’s other inventions include an early powered lawn mower, lock mechanisms, and holders for fishing rods.
How Cruise Control Works
Cruise control takes over the throttle of a vehicle to maintain a steady speed set by the driver. The mechanism adjusts a car’s speed by adjusting the throttle position. But it does this by manipulating the throttle valve using a solenoid, a vacuum driven servomechanism, or by using the electronic systems built into the vehicle. Drivers can set the cruise control with switches typically marked ‘On’, ‘Off’, ‘Set’, ‘Resume’, ‘Accelerate’, and ‘Decelerate’.
The next time you’re driving down the highway at a steady 100 KM per hour, be sure to give Ralph a quick thank you!
Our Special Offer
From August 15th to August 31st, we are offering an extra special offer for long term (6 months or longer) on cars with cruise control. Cars included in the offer include staples like the 2.0L VW Jetta (read our review here), as well as luxurious SUV’s like the Chevrolet Captiva (read our review here). Prices start from AED 1,600 per month. Call us at 04-338 7773 or email email@example.com to find out more.
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