Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Traffic Light

Traffic Light

Police Officer William L. Potts of Detroit, Michigan, decided to do something about the problem caused by the ever increasing number of automobiles on the streets. What he had in mind was figuring out a way to adapt railroad signals for street use. Potts used red, amber, and green railroad lights and about thirty-seven dollars worth of wire and electrical controls to make the world's first 4-way three color traffic light. It was installed in 1920 on the corner of Woodward and Michigan Avenues in Detroit. Within a year, Detroit h

ad installed a total of fifteen of the new automatic lights.

Invention: Traffic Light
Function: noun / trsffic signal / stoplight
Definition: A road signal for directing vehicular traffic by means of colored lights, typically red for stop, green for go, and yellow for proceed with caution.
Patent: As a government emplyee Potts could not patent his invention.
Inventor: William L. Potts
Criteria: First practical. Modern prototype.
Birth: Unknown
Death: Unknown
Nationality: Unknown


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