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111th Accredited Agency (APWA)

Traffic Lights from 1919-1929

photo of old style traffic signals

Taken from
"Police Officer William L. Potts of Detroit, Michigan, decided to Officer William Pottsdo something about the problem caused by the ever increasing number of automobiles on the streets. What he had in mind was figuring out a way to adapt railroad signals for street use. Potts used red, amber, and green railroad lights and about thirty-seven dollars worth of wire and electrical controls to make the world’s first Signal Light4-way three color traffic light. It was installed in 1920 on the corner of Woodward and Michigan Avenues in Detroit. Within a year, Detroit had installed a total of fifteen of the new automatic lights."