Google Doodle Celebrates 101st Anniversary of the First Electric Traffic Light

PHOTO: The Google Doodle on Aug. 5, 2015 celebrates the 101st anniversary of the traffic light. Google
The Google Doodle on Aug. 5, 2015 celebrates the 101st anniversary of the traffic light.

Imagine how crazy driving through an intersection would be without the guidance of traffic lights.

Today's Google Doodle celebrates the 101st anniversary of the first ever electric traffic light, which was installed at the corner of 105th and Euclid in Cleveland, Ohio, relieving police officers of the unenviable task of standing in the middle of a busy intersection and directing traffic.

Previous solutions to the task of controlling traffic were labor intensive and fraught with hazards. While gas-lit traffic signals had appeared in England before the 1900s, they had a tendency to explode, according to Google. Another solution of "stop" and "move" signs still relied on human attendants.

While the introduction of the electric traffic light helped change the rules of the road, the first one only included red and green lights, forcing drivers to rely on their quick reflexes to stop on a red.

The jarring stops are displayed in the Google Doodle by Nate Swinehart, showing what life was like before the yellow light, which came along a few years later.