Join the Car Talk Community!

One Man's Gadget

The Puzzler


RAY: OK. Here's the puzzler this week.

TOM: Quasi-automotive you said.

RAY: It is rather automotive, actually.

TOM: Rather automotive.

RAY: This was sent in by Jody Favv and this was sent via the internet -- so I don't know Jody -- where he or she is -- Jody could be either a man's name or a woman's name -- I don't know where he or she is from but I'm going to use it anyway.

TOM: Sure.

RAY: Jody says "here's a puzzler for ya."

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: In the early 1930's a young inventor came up with an idea for a little gadget which could be installed in an automobile.

TOM: Nickolai Tessler!

RAY: Will you let me finish? '30s! When he tried to sell his idea to his favorite gadget builder, the guy didn't want to build it. He was afraid that Congress would legislate against it because it would be distracting to drivers.

TOM: Rear view mirror.

RAY: Close.

TOM: Headlights!

RAY: But the inventor was very persuasive and convinced this guy to build 100 of these little gadgets which were later sold in front of the factory in just 10 minutes.

TOM: Glove compartments.

RAY: No. A multibillion dollar business was built on this little gadget and you'll hardly ever see a car without one now. What is it called?

TOM: Wow!

RAY: And for extra credit, who invented it? What else did he invent? And where does he now live?

TOM: You going to throw in blood type and hygiene too?

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic


Go



Submit


Rocket Fuel