On this day in auto history – February 15th

Mon 15th Feb 2021

One of the most remarkable figures in motoring history, Ralph Teetor - the inventor of cruise control - died on this day in 1982.

Blinded by a knife accident at the age of five, American-born Teetor went on to live his life as though the accident never occurred, becoming one of the most prolific and successful engineers of the 20th century.

Helped by increased sensitivity of touch and hearing, Teetor was a major designer and manufacturer of piston rings before patenting the ‘cruise control’ device in 1945 for which he was to become most famous.

Originally known as “Speedostat”, the device wasn’t used commercially until Chrysler introduced it as an optional extra on selected models in 1958.