traffic light

History, Transportation

Did you know the three-colored traffic light, now a staple in most of the world, was invented right here in NYC? The year was 1922, and special deputy police commissioner Dr. John F. Harriss tested his system of lights to save time for “both the pedestrian and the motorist.” Today, on the 94th anniversary of the lights’ installation, the Times took a look back at a historic article the paper published at the time. It described how Harriss “began experimenting yesterday with powerful signal lights which will be installed from week to week until traffic in most of Manhattan will be simultaneously started and stopped by red, green and yellow lights all operated by a single switch in Times Square.”

The rest of the history this way


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