November 20, 1923 – Garrett Morgan patents three position traffic light

Garrett Morgan with traffic light

The U.S. Patent Office granted Patent No. 1,475,074 to 46-year-old inventor Garrett Morgan on this day in 1923 for his three position traffic light. Morgan introduced the middle light to help ensure safer intersections, as previous signals had only stop and go lights. Morgan, the son of two former slaves, earned prosperity through his work as a newspaperman and hair products salesman in Ohio. He would eventually sell rights to his traffic light patent to General Electric for $40,000. In case you were wondering, the first ever traffic light was installed in London in 1868. It was a gas lit light that had to be manually operated. It exploded less than a month after it was installed, injuring the operator.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The best way to support This Day in Automotive History is to become a monthly subscriber on Facebook.

Subscriber benefits include:

  • Most importantly, you’re supporting great content about Automotive History
  • Early access to content on Facebook
  • Discounts on our store
  • Special live videos

If you learned something today, please buy me a beer!

No payment method connected. Contact seller.

Categories

This Day in Automotive History - the book!

This Day In Automotive History

By Brian Corey

This book tells fascinating tales, bringing individual days to life with short stories, photographs and illustrations.

This Day in Automotive History

This Day in Automotive History is a transportation history, car history and general automotive history website dedicated to providing informative and entertaining content.

We encourage you to share our page and connect with us on Facebook or sign up for our automotive history newsletter. If you’d like your car featured, reach out to us!

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER!

Connect with us on Facebook or sign up for our automotive history newsletter to keep in touch.

Love automotive history? Support this site!

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER!

Sign up for our automotive history newsletter to keep in touch.