I am related to the person who invented the first automobile odometer which was on the steering wheel. (No dashboards back then). Does this document have any value? Patent number 1914424 is in my possession and in mint condition along with the drawings.

  • I looked at the patents at google/patents and the drawings do look cool. They are not patents on the invention of the odometer; rather they are patents on the specifics of mounting an odometer in the center of the steering wheel.
    – George White
    Jan 29, 2019 at 19:13
  • US1692601A was invented by William H Wheeler and US1914424A was invented by Earl C Hendel so not the same person. If your relative was Mr. Wheeler, he was pretty productive with a lot of patents (patents.google.com/?inventor=William+H+Wheeler&status=GRANT). Mr Hendel has only the one patent.
    – Eric S
    Jan 29, 2019 at 19:33
  • My grandfather was Eacl C. Hendel.
    – Suzanne
    Jan 29, 2019 at 20:41
  • I think the linked question answers your question pretty much exactly. In any case questions about collectability and value are off topic for this site. You could check out ebay to get an idea of value. Be aware there are a lot of active patents for sale there so don't compare to those. Perhaps something like this: ebay.ie/itm/…
    – Eric S
    Jan 31, 2019 at 17:31

1 Answer 1


Since you added the patent number I'm updating this answer. The patent US1914424A was invented by Earl C Hendel and granted on September 3, 1932. It would have expired 17 years from that date. Once a patent expires, anyone can use the technology described by the patent. Thus there is no more licensing income likely available. I checked and this was Earl Hendel's only patent.

If you have the original patent document itself, it is possible it has some historical value or perhaps value as a collectable, but that is well beyond the scope of this site so we can't help you with that.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .