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Brief history of traffic lights invention

13.06.2018,14:47


June 13, Fineko/abc.az. The first-ever traffic light was installed in 1868 in the capital of England, London. His inventor was John Peake Knight, an engineer by profession.

 The design of the first traffic light was simple: its control was manual and consisted of two arrows.

The indicating hands were controlled by a special belt with the help of a police officer who was nearby. The horizontal arrow meant a stop, and the arrow at an angle of 45 degrees - movement. Thus, motor vehicles were operated successfully during the day, but at night this method did not help.

Subsequent traffic lights worked on gas lamps. Lighting of a gas lamp in glass of red color meant a stop and in green glass – movement. However, after some time the explosion of a gas lamp seriously injured a police officer, and therefore the use of traffic lights was postponed for several years.

The first electric traffic light was invented in 1912 by Lester Wire, a policeman in Salt Lake City, Utah. This traffic light consisted of two signals: red and green. However, Lester Wire was not able to obtain a patent for his invention.

In 1914, an American company producing traffic lights installed four electric traffic lights at the same time. Such traffic lights, along with the color signal, also used sound. The design of these traffic lights belonged to James Hoge. Traffic lights were controlled by a police officer sitting nearby in a glass cockpit.

And the first three-color traffic light was installed in 1920 at the same time in New York and Detroit. The authors of their designs were John F. Harris and William Potts.

In 1922, France became the first European country where a traffic light was installed. And in England, which is considered the birthplace of traffic lights, electric traffic lights began to be used only in 1927.

In the former USSR the first traffic light was put into operation in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) on 25 October 1930.