When was the first traffic light installed? Google doodle reveals the answer

By: | Updated: August 5, 2015 12:55 PM

Ever wondered when was the first traffic light installed? Google tells the answer through a doodle illustrated to celebrate 101st anniversary of the first electric traffic signal system.

Google doodle traffic lightGoogle Doodle goes decidedly downmarket to celebrate the installation of the first traffic light in the world and seeks to jog people’s memories in the process.

Google Doodle today is celebrating the installation of the first traffic light. In the age of the car, people cross traffic lights without bothering to go into the antecedents of the tool itself without which there would be chaos on the roads.

And that is exactly what Google Doodle does not want you to do. Today, it wants you to focus and ask yourself when was the first traffic light installed? If you don’t have the foggiest idea, Google tells the answer through its illustrated doodle and in the process to celebrates the  101st anniversary of the first electric traffic signal system.

The animated Google Doodle shows cars with the letters spelling “G-O-O-G-L-E” halting at a traffic light and then rushing past it as it turns green.

It was an American policeman Lester Wire, in Utah, who first developed an electric traffic light in 1912 and used red-green lights. However, it was the American Traffic Signal Company that installed a traffic signal system on the corner of East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio two years later on 5 August 1914 and thereby fleshed out the idea that has become part and parcel of every driver’s life – the yellow light wouldn’t appear for several years, and that forced overzealous motorists to screech to a halt as the green quickly turned to red.

Google Doodle has been created by Nate Swinehart who hearkens back to an earlier time with shades of black and white, and uses the background colors to make the red and green signals particularly luminous.

Little history:

Early twentieth-century intersection was a strange scene. While the world’s largest automobile manufacturer sold over 20,000 cars a month in 1914, horse-drawn wagons and carts still crowded the streets and accidents became increasingly frequent. Intersections in major cities were congested, and traffic was directed by police officers who stood in the middle of chaotic highways waving their arms–an unenviable beat, to say the least, especially during a blustery winter in the Midwest.

Gas-lit stoplights appeared in England before the turn of the century, but these had a tendency to explode, and mechanically operated signs that displayed the words “stop” and “move” still relied on traffic attendants. Enter the inspiration of today’s Doodle, the electric traffic signal, which was first installed at the corner of 105th and Euclid in Cleveland, Ohio on August 5th, 1914.

(Text courtesy: Google; inputs from ANI)

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