It Happened On #53

It’s a new day which means a new It Happened On. After the 100th edition, I’m thinking of scraping It Happened On. I’m trying to think of ideas for new daily posts, but I got nothing so far

It happened on November 20 1923… On this day in 1923, the U.S. Patent Office grants Patent No. 1,475,074 to 46-year-old inventor and newspaperman Garrett Morgan for his three-position traffic signal. Though Morgan’s was not the first traffic signal (that one had been installed in London in 1868), it was an important innovation nonetheless: By having a third position besides just “Stop” and “Go,” it regulated crossing vehicles more safely than earlier signals had

The signal Morgan patented was a T-shaped pole with three settings. At night, when traffic was light, it could be set at half-mast (like a blinking yellow light today), warning drivers to proceed carefully through the intersection. He sold the rights to his invention to General Electric for $40,000

Also on November 20 1984, McDonald’s made its 50 billionth hamburger

$40 000 seems like next to nothing these days but I guess it seemed fair back then. I guess it’s better than the $35 Carolyn Davidson was paid for the Nike logo. Although she did get company stock, now worth about $643 000


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