When Was The First Traffic Light Installed

Published: August 5, 2015

When Was The First Traffic Light Installed, They are the bane of impatient motorists and are responsible for thousands of road rage incidents across the globe.

Now the humble traffic light has been honoured with a Google Doodle to celebrate its 101st Anniversary on Wednesday:

The first ever traffic lights were unveiled in London in the late 19th century, and placed outside the Houses of Parliament.

Non-electric and gas-operated, police officers had to work the lights by hand in a bid to control vehicles crossing on nearby Bridge Street, Great George Street and Parliament Street.

The project was short-lived after an explosion in 1869 when a leak in gas lines passing under the device exploded, and seriously injured the police officer operating the lights.

More than thirty years later an American enjoyed greater success with some electronic lights that focused on a similar – and now internationally recognisable – system of red and green lights.

Vienna replaced pedestrian traffic light figures with gay couples

Lester Wire, a former detective in Salt Lake City, came up with the revolutionary idea in 1912, and traffic lights began springing up across the United States shortly after.

He was not the only American to come up with the idea. Garrett Morgan, an inventor from Ohio, vowed to improve traffic safety after witnessing a serious accident on the roads.

He applied for a patent for a man-powered traffic control device using a crank in 1922, but his invention is said to have never reached the prototype stage.

When Was The First Traffic Light Installed


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