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.

Date Made: ca. 1929

See more items in: America on the Move, Transportation

Exhibition: America On The Move

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Credit Line: Gift of Eleanor Rhue

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1989.0571.01Catalog Number: 1989.0571.01Accession Number: 1989.0571

Object Name: turn signal


Record Id: nmah_1448933

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