It is reported that the world’s first traffic light was installed in London one hundred and fifty years ago on 9 December 1868; it was gas powered and exploded owing to a gas leak, and the experiment was abandoned … for the time being.
Now traffic lights: red, amber, green,
Are everywhere now to be seen,
But who would guess they’ve been here since,
Around the time that Albert, Prince,
Fell poorly and so popped his clogs,
In one of those thick pea soup fogs.
They put it up, it ran on gas,
A policemen changed it – STOP or PASS;
But sadly, it seems, there were leaks,
And then before they could make tweaks,
It had just changed from GO to STOP,
When the policeman heard a pop.
The pop was loud, his hat blew off,
(The proper word for this is doff).
And he began to feel the heat,
As he was blown right down the street.
He picked himself up, he was hurt,
So these lights that had seemed a cert,
We’re taken up, put back to bed,
Until the Amber, green and red,
Could be provided day and night,
More safely with electric light.