The Traffic Signal

Don’t say we don’t try and teach you something…

The traffic signal was first invented in 1912 – by a Detroit policeman named Lester Wire – as a two-color, red-and-green light with a buzzer to warn pedestrians ahead of the impending transition. In 1920, this basic design was modified (by another policeman named William Potts) to include the tri-colored red, amber, and green lights widely used today.

This simple, three-color icon has endured for nearly a century with relatively little change, save for the incorporation of modern technologies such as automatic timers, diode lights and motion sensors. The core of the three-color traffic remains true to the initial vision of two smart American policemen.

Read more on the story of the traffic signal here on The Design Observer.

Source: The Design Observer.