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WHEN DO YOU STOP?

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With a snow fall that was pretty heavy yesterday afternoon, the last thing I wanted to do was to stop at a traffic light and lose my momentum. As any New Englander will attest , having an economy car in snow makes getting around very interesting. There were a lot of people sliding about in snow with their auto mobiles. I have to admit I did not have any kind words when the traffic light turned red.

However, if it were not for the talents of Mr Garrett Morgan, we might all be sliding into each other without any semblance of order whatsoever. Born in 1877 to former slaves, Mr. Morgan spent his childhood years going to school and working on the family farm in Paris, Kentucky.

He left Kentucky in search of opportunity in his teenage years, and moved to Cincinnati,Ohio.In 1895 ,he moved to Cleveland Ohio and got a job as a sewing machine repairman. Mr Morgan’s adult years were filled with a number of profitable businesses, including a newspaper named the Cleveland Call.

After being a witness to an accident involving an auto and a horse drawn carriage,Garrett Morgan took his turn at inventing a traffic signal. While there were other inventors that had applied for a patent after having experimented with the idea, Mr. Morgan was one of the first to apply for and acquire a U.S.Patent for an inexpensive to use traffic signal. His patent was granted in 1923. Garrett also had his invention patented in Great Britain and Canada.

The Morgan traffic signal was a T-shaped pole unit, featuring three positions: Stop,Go and an all direction stop position. The third position was meant to halt all traffic in order to allow pedestrians to cross the street more safely.

Now that I know how much work it took to invent the traffic light I think I will keep my comments to myself next time the light turns RED and I have to stop.Losing my momentum while driving in the snow is a small price to pay compared to an accident!