Friday, November 13, 2009

Invention of the week: Traffic Light

From the Traffic Light History:

The world’s first traffic light came into being before the automobile was in use, and traffic consisted only of pedestrians, buggies, and wagons. Installed at an intersection in London in 1868, it was a revolving lantern with red and green signals. Red meant "stop" and green meant "caution." The lantern, illuminated by gas, was turned by means of a lever at its base so that the appropriate light faced traffic. On January 2, 1869, this crude traffic light exploded, injuring the policeman who was operating it.

The traffic light as we know it today was patented by Garrett Morgan in 1923. General Electric bought the patent for $40,000, and monopolized manufacturing of the device in the United Sates.

tags: control, history, greatest, transportation, scale, patent, problem, solution, innovation

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