Oddly enough, the first patented, automatic traffic light was invented by a black man, who also happened to be the first black person to own a car in Cleveland, Ohio. Garrett Morgan invented his electric traffic light in 1923. He sold his invention to General Electric for $40,000. Such were the times.
The Bahamas, got it’s first traffic light some 40 years later, in 1965/1966.
Before traffic lights, there was the white gloved, iconic Bahamian symbol of the traffic police
One of the most photographed attractions in Nassau was its smartly dressed, handsomely attired traffic police. Donned in a starched white tunic, safari-esque hat and white glove, the Nassau traffic police became an iconic symbol.
Nassau’s first traffic lights arrived around July 1965. However, many necessary parts, which had been ordered, had not arrived. This delayed installation for several months, possibly into early 1966.
Installation, it was reported, was not likely until September 1965.
But then there was another problem – electricity!
Even with the necessary parts, new street poles had to be erected and electricity lines run to facilitate these new traffic lights.
Then there was another problem – an even bigger one. How to introduce this new system of traffic control to Nassau drivers.
Some contend, still to this very day, almost sixty years later, that many in Nassau still don’t know what traffic lights are for.
1966 – First person to run Nassau’s new traffic light was a local constable
Who Invented The Traffic Light?
“In 1923, Garrett Morgan patented an electric automatic traffic signal. Morgan was the first African-American to own a car in Cleveland. He also invented the gas mask. Morgan’s design used a T-shaped pole unit with three positions. Besides “Stop” and “Go,” the system also first stopped traffic in all directions to give drivers time to stop or get through the intersection. Another benefit of Morgan’s design was that it could be produced inexpensively, thus increasing the number of signals that could be installed. Morgan sold the rights to his traffic signal to General Electric for $40,000.” https://www.livescience.com/amp/57231-who-invented-the-traffic-light.html