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The first traffic lights

Posted in Anniversary, Transport, Travel on Monday, 29 November 2010

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picture, traffic light, cleaner, ladder, cars, bus

Controlling traffic in all weathers means traffic lights need to be regularly cleaned

10 December marks the anniversary of the erection of the first traffic lights in Westminster, London, in 1868. The original traffic light was placed outside the Houses of Parliament by railway engineer J. P. Knight and resembled one of the era’s railway signals, with semaphore arms and red and green gas lamps for use at night. The gas lantern was turned via a lever at its base so that the appropriate light faced traffic. Unfortunately, it exploded on 2 January 1869 injuring the policeman operating it.

The modern traffic light has three lights, red, amber and green.

Many more pictures relating to the history of transport can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

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