Simler Turn Signal for Automobile

This turn signal was invented by Oscar J. Simler and patented in 1929. Aside from signaling turns, the device would signal for slowing when the brake was pressed, and signal a stop when the brake and clutch were both pressed. Turn signals were not offered to consumers purchasing cars until 1939, and they were more widespread in the late 1940s, when large numbers of car manufacturers offered them to consumers.
As more and more Americans took to the wheel, they often tinkered with their cars so that they more effectively suited their needs, or to overcome early automobiles' very obvious limitations. A users could buy kits that converted Model T's into a stationary engine, lights, turn signals, anti-theft devices, and a host of other products that the makers of auto accessories touted as essential and useful. Although not all of them worked, or were successful, some of these early add-ons, became standard features on later cars.
Currently not on view
date made
ca. 1929
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Eleanor Rhue
See more items in
America on the Move
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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