A manually operated traffic control machine, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1922
Written by Roneel Narayan on January 26, 2022
Cars began getting into accidents and fender-benders shortly after the automobile first reached the streets. It became apparent immediately that laws and procedures were required to ensure that individuals did not drive their vehicles into other cars, people, or structures.
Motorists started using traffic signals to know when to halt and when to continue through a junction. Before electric traffic signals, the only alternative was to have manual signals, such as the one seen in the photograph, that was manually changed from “stop” to “go” by a traffic stop operator.