Cruise Control's Humorous And Unbelievable History 

By | September 6, 2019

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An automobile cruise control system is an outer control loop that "takes over" control of the throttle - normally exercised by the driver through the accelerator pedal - and holds the vehicle speed steady at a set value. Source: (HERWIG VERGULT/AFP/Getty

The origin of inventions remains a fascinating subject for anyone who enjoys the strange twists of history. For instance, the most popular soft drink in the world and a multi-billion dollar company started with a man looking to kick his addiction to morphine. That's right: Coca-Cola, purveyor of just about every sugary drink in America, was born when John Stith Pemberton became addicted to painkillers after suffering a grievous injury during the Battle of Columbus.

The irony of Coke inevitably becoming a vice for millions of Americans decades later is not lost on historians with a sense of humor. As the saying goes, "necessity is the mother of invention." However, sometimes irony and happenstance take turns playing a hand in delivering the children of invention as well. One such example from the past is cruise control.

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Without Ralph Teetor we Might Not Enjoy the Foot Saving Power of Cruise Control. Source: (

From the Mind of an Annoyed Genius

Cruise control, the gas-conserving savior of long-distance drivers everywhere, actually came from one man's pet peeve. The inventor, Ralph Teetor, became annoyed by the inability of his friend and frequent driver, Harry Lindsay, to maintain a constant speed. Lest you think this was a first world problem, Teetor was blind, necessitating some friendly assistance in getting around, and Lindsay had a notoriously "jerky accelerator foot." If you were being thrown around in your seat because you couldn't drive yourself, you'd be pretty grouchy, too.