We take the most wondrous marvels for granted. Weâ€™re annoyed when we have to reboot our computers, for example. And how come we can only do 25 things at once on this magical machine, instead of 35 things?
I admit Iâ€™m the worst. But then I think, hey, at least we donâ€™t have to wrestle with vacuum tubes and punch cards these days.
Same with vehicular transportation. You know, weâ€™ve come a long way from the horse and buggy. We take the many convenient features of automobiles for granted.
Like cruise control. It comes to mind because of an article I stumbled across about Ralph Teetor, a mechanical engineer who invented automatic transmission, cruise control and many other enhancements of the driving experience.
Teeter realized the need for cruise control when he fell victim to his lawyerâ€™s herky-jerky attempts to comply with the 35 mile per hour speed limit imposed during World War II. In 1945, he patented the invention and by the late â€™50s it was being offered as an option in Chrysler models.
Another thing we take for granted is our eyesight. Something Ralph Teetor lost at the age of five. But that didnâ€™t stop him from building his own one-cylinder car at age 12. He then went on to receive a Bachelorâ€™s in Mechanical Engineering and make a career visualizing solutions to one tough problem after another.
Thatâ€™s a story that reminds us that the world is not always blind to character and drive.
This is Common Sense. Iâ€™m Paul Jacob.