Every car has that ticking, mile counting device that measures the distance your car has traveled. Because of its ability to inform you how far you’ve journeyed, the odometer is one of the most beloved parts of your car’s dashboard. You may only use your odometer to determine how much money you’ll spend on car insurance or when you need your next oil change, but there’s a heartwarming story behind that beating contraption.
When so much joy and passion is built into one device, it deserves its own holiday. Just when you thought there couldn’t be anymore excruciatingly, specific holidays, there’s one more that’s rearing its magical headlights. May 12th is devoted to every car’s favorite measuring tool: the odometer.
Give your car an oil change and rotate its tires to show your appreciation for your odometer. While you’re at it, snap a pic of it to show off all those miles you’ve racked up over the years. There’s endless ways to celebrate Odometer Day.
Since you’re clearing the dust off your dashboard to get a closer look at that mile measurer, pull up a chair and listen to a heartwarming tale behind Odometer Day. It’s a story that’s been passed down through generations, and it’s as old as time itself. Well, as old as 1698 at least.
A Tale as Old As 1698
Once upon the year 1698, the odometer’s distant grandfather was created to track the distance of ships sailing across the Atlantic Ocean. Thomas Savery was the inventor of the first odometer. However, in 1775, Benjamin Franklin developed the odometer further to help measure the routes between post stops during his mail delivery commutes.
During the U.S.’s manifested journey west, a Mormon pioneer by the name of William Clayton used Franklin’s version of the odometer to track the distance his wagon traveled. He coined it as the “roadometer.” From there, the popularity of the roadometer rose as it was duplicated and attached to wagons used by caravanners traveling to the Pacific Ocean. If only they had a NY defensive driving course, they would be the perfect 18th-century drivers.
Throughout the years, the odometer was developed for the ever-evolving modes of transportation, where it finally reached its current state – lodged into the dashboard of your car. Some are mechanical, and some are digital. Some are used rarely, and some have been used every day for the last 15 years. All odometers are different. No matter what your odometer looks like, it’s part of a constantly changing piece of technology that has withstood the tests of time as an important asset for any journey.
Celebrating May 12th
On this day, every year, the magic of Odometer Day fills the hearts and souls of every driver cruising around the world. It’s the most magical day of the year as people become jolly and festive about their odometers. Children will lay out gasoline canisters and go car-to-car singing jovial hymns.
However, if you’re looking for something a little bit less merry, there’s plenty of ways to celebrate the most anticipated holiday of the year. A more secular way of celebrating is to pile on the miles by partaking in a small road trip to your favorite vacation destination. Another idea is sharing pictures with #OdometerDay on social media to commemorate all those hard-working odometers. However you decide to celebrate, don’t forget to take a moment to reflect on the journey you’ve made with your car.