Believe it or not, the odometer dates all the
way back to Franklin's times, for he was keen enough to foresee its
usefulness in daily life. As postmaster, Benjamin was assigned the
task of mapping mail routes for the local towns. He went out riding
on this carriage to measure the routes and soon realized how
important it was to keep track of the distances. Consequently, he
invented a simple odometer attached to his carriage. The instrument
was designed to measure distances by counting the rotations of the
axles of the wagon. Interestingly, the device was calibrated to
trigger a bell every twenty rods (1 rod =25.5 yards).
In Long Island, NY, historians speculate that
Franklin used his odometer to establish mile markers along his
postal route. For those wishing to learn more: http://www.lihistory.com/history/3/hs330a.htm.
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