[Photos] Manually controlled "Traffic Light” in Lagos & other cities back in 1900s


Posted by: Oluwaseun Solomon

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You would never believe that this manual type of “Traffic Light” was once used on the streets of Lagos back in the 1940s period. Check the precious pictures here!

Naijauto came across an amazing photograph that recently surfaced online showing a Nigerian traffic control officer on duty back in the 1940s era.

See the photograph below;


A Nigerian policeman from the 1940s on duty, standing behind a manual traffic light device

Photograph Credit: Uyi Obaseki/Del Campe (CMS Bookshop)

Yes, there were no fancy automatic traffic control lights back then in Lagos 😊.

From the photo, you can see the policeman standing behind the manually controlled traffic management device which has a side that reads “Stop” and another side that reads “Go On”.

Back in those 1940s periods, a traffic control officer is tasked with the responsibility of rotating this manual device to indicate which set of motorists should “Stop” or “Go On” in a Lagos traffic.

>>> Do you know the answer? Reason why traffic light colors are red, yellow, and green

Not just in Lagos, many cities in the world also used this type of manual traffic lights in the old days. See them below!


This is the very first traffic light in 1868


Would you apply for this position in the past?


The system was then developed gradually till it's totally automatic like today

>>> To see more interesting facts and historical photos like this Navigate to -> Mind-blowing car facts

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Oluwaseun Solomon

Oluwaseun Solomon

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Oluwaseun Solomon is a prolific and diligent automobile writer at Naijauto.com. He's also an experienced digital marketer and a creative multimedia developer that specializes in video editing. He currently contributes informative and easy to read articles on topics covering transportation, traffic updates, auto industry updates, and different car reviews.
When Solomon is not writing, you will either find him composing music, editing videos or simply enjoying YouTube "TEDx Talk" videos with a chilled drink :)

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