Ralph R. Teetor
1936 SAE President
A constructor of miniature dynamos and other machinery at 10 and thoroughly versed in all that pertains to their operation, and at 12 the builder of an automobile that carries him about the streets of his native town and far out upon the country roads at a speed of from 18 to 25 miles an hour, is the remarkable record of Ralph Teetor of Hagerstown, Indiana. The foregoing is quoted from a feature article that appeared in the New York Herald of December, 21, 1902.
Ten years later Ralph R. Teetor graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He immediately started work as a mechanical engineer for the Light Inspection Car Company, an organization founded by his family that grew through several name changes to become the Perfect Circle Company in 1928 and later the Perfect Circle Corporation. Mr. Teetor soon was named Vice President of Engineering for Perfect Circle and was the corporations President from 1946 to 1957. Following his Presidency he continued to be active as an Engineering Consultant and Director until his retirement.
But retirement did not mean full retirement for Mr. Teetor. He established his own workshop where he worked on new ideas for the improvement of existing products in automotive and other fields.
His SAE activities were numerous since he first affiliated in 1912. He held practically every office in the SAE Indiana Section and became its Chairman in 1926. Nationally, he participated actively in SAEs technical and administrative committee work and, in 1936, was elected SAE President. After his successful term as President, Mr. Teetor contributed to a number of SAE research and technical committees and served on the SAE Technical Board and as Chairman of the SAE Meetings Committee, predecessor to the SAE Engineering Activity Board.
Education was one of Mr. Teetors important interests. In 1949 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Earlham College and continued until his death in 1982. He received honorary degrees from Earlham College and the Indiana Institute of Technology.
Mr. Teetor believed that the success of our future society depends on the emphasis we place on teaching to our youth the basic principles that have been proven by experience to be sound. In making the gift that made possible the establishment of the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Fund, Mr. Teetor designated that the money was to be used to further SAEs educational program. he suggested that consideration be given to the possibilities of projects that will encourage extension of acquaintanceships and interchange of needed information between practicing engineers in industry with faculty, students, and junior engineers. The Ralph R. Teetor Educational Awards Committee has taken this suggestion as its objective.