A still image from the preview video on the Blind Logic Productions website at http://www.blindlogicproductions.com/video/

The public premiere of a documentary film about Hagerstown inventor Ralph R. Teetor will take place during Wayne County’s lead-up to the April 8 solar eclipse.

“Blind Logic – The Ralph R. Teetor Story” will be shown at the Hagerstown High School auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 5, and at Earlham College’s Goddard Auditorium at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 7. Both shows will be free admission. A preview of the show is available online at blindlogicproductions.com/video/.

In addition to being profiled in the new documentary, Teetor has been selected for induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame on May 9 in Washington, D.C.

“Ralph Teetor never let loss of sight keep him from pursuing his interests or building extraordinary skills. This drive led him to invent an ubiquitous automotive technology that we all now take for granted – cruise control,” said the Hall of Fame’s executive vice president for selection and recognition Rini Palva, in a news release. 

Born in Hagerstown in 1890, Teetor was blinded from a childhood accident He became an engineer and inventor and served as president of the Perfect Circle Co., an auto parts manufacturer founded by his family and headquartered in Hagerstown. He died in 1982.

A nephew, Jack Teetor of Los Angeles, is producing the documentary film.

Posthumously inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1988, Ralph Teetor is best known for his invention of cruise control, which he called the Speedostat. He had the idea for it in 1936 and filed his first patent on it in 1945. It is considered the first step toward autonomous auto technology. 

The film will tell his life story, Jack Teetor says. It is based on a biography, “One Man’s Vision – The Life of Ralph R. Teetor” written by Ralph Teetor’s daughter, the late Marjorie Teetor Meyer.

Updated Feb. 26 at 9:45 a.m. to correct the spelling of Rini Palva’s name.

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A version of this article appeared in the February 21 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.