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800px-Marshalite_traffic_signal,_Melbourne_Museum.jpg

This traffic signal design from 1936 by Charles Marshall (called the “Marshalite”) was used in Australia for about 30 years and utilized 2 motorized rotors to point at colored sections of red, green, and yellow for the corresponding result. Using the standard clock face metaphor, the displays showed “signal phase timing” clearly on their faces.
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10 thoughts on “Traffic light design from the past uses analog thinking

  1. very cool, although I like how our US traffic lights at a glance quickly show you which it is (only one lit at a time). You could incorporate this idea by adding a ring around the outside of the light to indicate how much time is left on it…or even have it “fill” the existing light, with a line going up or down to indicate how much time is left.

  2. @GM
    Yeah, dead problematic – just like these moden ones are… when the light at the top is on, stop, when the light at the bottom is on, go – nothing to do with colour at all!!!

    BTW, I DO like the idea of knowing how long is left on each phase.. being colour blind (but strangley having passed my driving test)…

    1. quote
      “ahh didums…

      @GM
      Yeah, dead problematic – just like these moden ones are… when the light at the top is on, stop, when the light at the bottom is on, go – nothing to do with colour at all!!!

      BTW, I DO like the idea of knowing how long is left on each phase.. being colour blind (but strangley having passed my driving test)…”

      What are you guys talking about? Arrow points left, go, arrow points right, stop. And I’m betting the arrow moves the same way it does on a clock. In other words you know exactly how long till the next phase by where the arrow is.

      Holy crap I’m reeling from the lack of comprehension here.

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