Google Doodle celebrates 101 years of the Electric Traffic Signal Lights

The Google Doodle, often credited with reminding us all of past and trending events, today chose to 101 years of installation of the first electric traffic signal. A jerky, hand drawn picture showing yester year roads with vintage cars skidding along were today seen on the home page of the world’s most popular search engine.

The first electric traffic signal was developed by an American cop Lester Wire hailing from Utah in 1912 using only red and green lights. It took another two years for the credit for American Traffic Signal System to improve upon his design before they installed it on the corner of Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio and East 105th street in 1914.

Policemen who had henceforth been directing hand drawn carriages, the occasional cars and ubiquitous carts by waving to them frantically, braving the scorching heat and icy cold winds were amongst the happiest as traffic lights started springing up across America soon thereafter.

This however, was not among the first efforts to solve the traffic menace. The first ever traffic light is said to have been introduced in London in the late nineteenth century. Though non-electric and running on gas, they did help the cops handling traffic related woes to control the flow of traffic across the busiest of streets, namely the Parliament Street, Bridge Street and Great George Street.

The project came to an abrupt end in 1869 as a leak in gas lines caused an explosion, also injuring a cop in the process. The lights were taken off immediately.

Today’s Google Doodle has been scribbled by Nate Swineheart. Elaborates the Google Doodle official website, it “hearkens back to an earlier time with shades of black and white, and uses the background colors to make the red and green signals particularly luminous. It’s not an artistic coincidence that the cars leap forward and screech wildly to a halt, either — the yellow light wouldn’t appear for several years, and overzealous motorists had to stop on a dime.”