A Controversial Car Gadget

Sep 01, 2008

RAY: This was sent in by Jody Favv. Here it is: In the early 1930's a young inventor came up with an idea for a little gadget which could be installed in an automobile. 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. 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. 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? And for extra credit, who invented it? What else did he invent? And where does he now live?
RAY: The little gadget that I am referring to is none other than the car radio. And it was thanks to Bill Lear, who is best known for inventing the Lear Jet and forming a huge corporation, Lear Incorporated.

TOM: Short and sweet. I like it!

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