all about it here .. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/traffic_lig...
The very first traffic light was a revolving gas lantern with red and green lights installed in a London intersection in 1868, before the advent of automobiles. A later version of the traffic light based on railroad signals was installed in Detroit, Michigan, in 1920. But we have Garrett Augustus Morgan to thank for the modern version and first patent of this traffic-stopping invention.
Red and Green Traffic Light.
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 Addition of the Amber Light.
With the coming of automobiles, the situation got even worse. Police Officer William L. Potts of Detroit, Michigan, decided to do something about the problem. What he had in mind was figuring out a way to adapt railroad signals for street use. The railroads were already utilizing automatic controls. But railroad traffic traveled along parallel lines. Street traffic traveled at right angles. 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 had installed a total of fifteen of the new automatic lights.
On 10 December 1868, the first traffic lights were installed outside the British Houses of Parliament in London, by the railway engineer J.P. Knight. They resembled railway signals of the time, with semaphore arms and red and green gas lamps for night use. The gas lantern was turned with a lever at its base so that the appropriate light faced traffic. Unfortunately, it exploded on 2 January 1869, injuring the policeman who was operating it.
The modern electric traffic light is an American invention. As early as 1912 in Salt Lake City, Utah, policeman Lester Wire invented the first red-green electric traffic lights. On 5 August 1914, the American Traffic Signal Company installed a traffic signal system on the corner of 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. It had two colors, red and green, and a buzzer, based on the design of James Hoge, to provide a warning for color changes. The design by James Hoge (USPTO # 1251666 Sept. 22, 1913) allowed Police and Fire stations to control the signals in case of emergency. The first four-way, three-color traffic light was created by police officer William Potts in Detroit in 1920. In 1923, Garrett Morgan patented a traffic signal device, although it was not a precursor of the modern traffic light.
The first interconnected traffic signal system was installed in Salt Lake City in 1917, with six connected intersections controlled simultaneously from a manual switch. Automatic control of interconnected traffic lights was introduced March 1922 in Houston, Texas. The first automatic experimental traffic lights in England were deployed in Wolverhampton in 1927.
Ampelmännchen pedestrian traffic signals have come to be seen as a nostalgic sign for the former German Democratic Republic.
the guy who got tired of turning a sign repeatedly and decided to actuallydo something about it.
As already noted, the first traffic lights were red / green only. This worked just fine when automobiles traveled slowly. However, as the speeds/ horsepower picked up, the yellow light became necessary. a better question: Who invented the 'yellow' traffic light?
you know you could have just searched in google instead of un-neccesirily wasting EduQnA.com. however the modern traffic lights that we know today, were developed by different companies for different components, primarily IBM and INTEL
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