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Odometer

Artist/Maker:
Eberhardt, Johann Ludwig (attr.)
Place Made:
Salem North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
1835
Medium:
brass –wrought iron –maple –walnut
Dimensions:
Box: HOA 6 1/2; WOA 5 1/2; DOA 4 1/2
Accession Number:
C-11
Description:
In writing about this object, scholar Frank Albright notes, “The Odometer was attached to a carriage and geared to a wheel in such a manner as to measure the distance in miles….Such an odometer seems to …have come into general use, about 1800.” Albright goes on to say, “Eberhardt’s 1835 inventory lists an odometer for $15.00.” (Albright, Frank P. Johann Ludwig Eberhardt and his Salem Clocks. 1978:136).

Odometer has an brass face with an engraved dial: “20” engraved at the top, “5” on the right side, “15” on the left and “10” at the bottom. The Dial is enclosed in a wooden case with an opening for a lever, hinged on one side. When attached to the wheel of a wagon or cart, this instrument records distance as the wheel revolves. Our modern spedometer developed from this device. Frank P. Albright attributes this odometer to Johann Ludwig Eberhardt due to similarities between the works of the odometer and clock works made by Eberhardt. (See Albright, Johann Ludwig Eberhardt and his Salem Clocks 1978:136-137.)

History:
Odometer, possibly the one mentioned in Eberhardt’s inventory of 1835 at a value of $15.00. Cyclometer used to map out roads; when attached to the wheel of a wagon or cart, it records distance as the wheel revolves.
Credit Line:
Wachovia Historical Society Collection