GoogleGoogle Doodle honors first ever electric traffic signal

Google Doodle honors first ever electric traffic signal

On this day in history, the very first electric traffic signal was installed, an event that has earned a Google Doodle in its honor. If you go to the search giant’s landing page, you’ll be able to see a GIF image of vehicles zooming by or halting abruptly, as the lights change color.

Notice what is missing in the animated Google Doodle game? The yellow we’re so used to seeing along with the green and red lights was simply not there. So motorists had the green for ‘Go ahead’ and the red for ‘Stop,’ but nothing in between to warn them that the signals were going to switch colors.

Google Doodle

This is why the image depicts automobiles screeching to a halt and leaping forward with careless abandon. Nate Swinehart, creator of the doodle, stuck to black and white tones for all the the parts of the image which do not contain the traffic signal lights in order to capture the spirit of the former times.

Also see: Google gives India’s Mars Orbiter mission a shoutout in its last Doodle for 2014

Lester Wire, a policeman in Salt Lake City in Utah (USA), designed the electric traffic light in 1912. The first ever such signal was installed in London way back in 1868. But it was non-electric and was abandoned in 1869 when a leak in the gas line through which it was powered, caused it to explode.

Google Doodle Honors Traffic Signal

As for the electric traffic signal developed by Wire, the American Traffic Signal Company first installed in on the corner of 105th and Euclid in Cleveland, Ohio on 5 August 1914. The four-way, three-color version we know today wasn’t created until 1920.

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