Wednesday, August 5, 2015

When was the first traffic light installed?

Traffic lights at Canary Wharf

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 eletronic lights that focused on a similar - and now internationally recognisable - system of red and green lights.

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