Posted by: Author | August 10, 2012

Friday Facts- August 10, 2012- First Traffic Light

The world’s first electric traffic light signal was installed in 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio, at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and East 105th St.

Garrett Augustus Morgan, a son of former slaves, born in 1877 in Kentucky is credited with this first sign. It’s not without controversy as London, England and Salt Lake City, Utah also claim to have been the first with traffic signals.

Morgan patented his invention in 1923. His light had a stop, a go and an all direction-stop for the use for pedestrians to walk. He decided something had to be done to stop all the accidents as so many people were in the city using the streets with their carts, bicycles and cars and there was no order to the system.

There was an earlier patent for a traffic type light invented by James Hoge and he may very well have been the first but the Ohioans will always say it was Morgan who was the inventor.


  1. Interesting. In traveling to some out of the way places it’s not uncommon for locals to boast that they only have one stop light. And that’s today when it’s a sign of the good old ways and not like back then when it was the sign of progression.

    • Yeah. You’re right there. The town my hubs is from has one flashing light. Not even a stop light. Lol

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