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Word Count: 341
Even during the horse and buggy days traffic in big cities was often heavy Police officers had to be stationed full time directing traffic at busy intersections The worlds 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 Police Officer William Potts of Detroit Michigan decided to do something about the problem 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 worlds first traffic light Within a year Detroit had installed a total of fifteen of the new automatic lights At about the same time Garrett Morgan of the United States realized the need to control the flow of traffic A gifted inventor and reportedly the first African American to own an automobile in Cleveland Ohio he invented the electric automatic traffic light In 1868 the first known traffic light was installed for pedestrians who had to walk across main streets or along tramways in England This traffic signal was a gas lamp consisting of a semaphore signal which alternately raised a red glass and a green glass Electric traffic lights were installed for the first time in 1914 by the American Traffic Signal Company under the direction of Safety Director Alfred A Benesch in Cleveland Ohio at Euclid Ave and 105th Street It was had two long crossarms red and green lights and buzzers
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